Stettler firefighter Mike Tomiak didn’t give his fellow firefighters much notice that he was going to take part in the Cold Water Challenge, but in those 30 minutes raised $200 for a charity benefiting the families of fallen firefighters.
Tomiak, a lieutenant with the Stettler and District Fire Department, was nominated for the challenge by a former Stettler firefighter by the name of Tracey Depew. Depew, who now works for the County of Grand Prairie’s fire department, had been likewise nominated and raised money.
Now that he’s completed the challenge, Tomiak has nominated several of his friends from firefighting school, passing the challenge on and around the province.
After being nominated, firefighters have 96 hours, or four days, to complete the challenge, which sees firefighters raise money for the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation. After they raise money, they are doused with icy cold water from hydrants or fire trucks until they’ve had enough.
Tomiak was soaked on Monday, July 28. “It’s such a good charity,” he said. “I just told the guys (at the fire hall) that I’m doing this in 30 minutes, and we put together the money.”
The money goes to help develop and maintain programs which help the families of fallen firefighters cope with the loss of their loved one and the new reality in which they find themselves.
“I haven’t heard from them (the people he nominated) except for one, and he’s on vacation,” Tomiak said. “He said he’d do it as soon as he gets back. I hope the others do it, too.”
For more information on the foundation, visit its website at www.cfff.ca.