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'A couple of holy crap moments': Volunteer firefighter juggles wildfires and newborn baby
Work to battle the wildfires wouldn’t be possible without the help of hundreds of volunteers.
In addition to fighting fires, many of these men and women have full-time jobs and families at home.
For Kyle McAleese, the combination of grass fire season and a growing family means little to no sleep. McAleese is a volunteer firefighter, works full-time as a crane operator, and he and his wife welcomed a baby girl into the world last week.
It’s been all hands on deck for him and firefighters across Saskatchewan.
“It was fast. That’s the only real way to describe it with 70km/h winds,” McAleese said.
“A couple of holy crap moments.”
Running up and down hills attempting to get ahead of the fire can put on a strain on the body.
“I’m sore,” he said, laughing. “Haven’t had a workout like that in a while.”
Additionally, everyday farmers have played a role – hauling their personal equipment, such as tractors, to help.
“They do a lot of work that we can’t because we don’t have the big equipment that they do. It’s amazing that they can help,” he said.
The Warman fire department echoed those thoughts, thanking its community fire fighters who have contributed their efforts.
“Thank you to Martensville Fire Department, Osler Fire Department, Langham Fire Department and Saskatoon Fire Department, for your help yesterday and to all the local farmers who pitched in to help us put out the 2 dangerous fires yesterday,” the department tweeted.
Dalmeny Fire and Rescue recognized the families at home, tweeting: “Thank you to all the families who were left behind this weekend while their loved ones helped us battle the fire west of Saskatoon.
“We know you sacrificed this weekend too. We just want you to know we sincerely appreciate it.”
When McAleese reflects on how he’s able to juggle it all, his wife is the first person that comes to mind.
“There’s a lot of good wives in the fire department and we wouldn’t be able to make it work without them,” he said.