The High River Fire Department held an open house at the Fire Hall on Saturday (May 11).

It's all a part of Emergency Preparedness Week and it brought out people of all ages.

Almost all the members of the High River Fire Department were on hand, all while they prepared for their big gala coming up this Saturday night.

Kids had a great time along with their parents checking out all the fire trucks, along with other emergency services provided by the Town of High River and in our community.  Foothills Emergency Services, RCMP, Foothills Community Immigrant Services, and Citizens on Patrol were there along with Heaven Can Wait Animal Rescue and ATCO. 

The Salvation Army served up a delicious lunch and the Kinsmen Club of High River were also serving up burgers and hot dogs courtesy of High River Sobeys.

Vicky Bolton, Treasurer with the High River Fire Brigade and former High River volunteer firefighter for 12 years, was also on hand. Her youngest son who's 16 years old is also involved since he's part of the Fire Cadet program and helped out along with other Fire Cadets showcasing the family atmosphere the department is known for.

Bolton is the key organizer for the High River Fire Department Gala. She says they will be handing out retirement awards and they have a well-known and very popular band lined up too.

"Oh yes, we have Haggis. And Todd is actually going to be our live auctioneer. We have some live auction items. But we are doing the scholarships as well for the Foothills Emergency Services Program. So, ATCO is actually doing a scholarship. And then the High River Fire Brigade, we are giving out two scholarships as well for grade 12's leaving the program. ATCO's is $1,000 and our Fire Brigades are two for $500.  Pretty excited for that."

Bolton says she's had a lot of help from Kim Doll and many others from the Brigade and friends to get this event going again. 

(L to R) Kim Doll and Vicky Bolton helped organize Saturday night's gala at the Highwood Centre.(L to R) Kim Doll and Vicky Bolton helped organize Saturday night's gala at the Highwood Centre.

It's the first gala held since 2014 and the funds raised from tonight's gala will be split with the High River Fire Brigade and the Foothills Emergency Services Program.

"The money from the brigade and what we do as an actual committee is we help members, their families in time of need. We also help with community programs and other charities."

Bolton listed off many charities that they have helped out with, and she went on to share what the money raised for the Foothills Emergency Services Program goes towards.

"Any child grade 11 or 12 whether it be Christ the Redeemer School Division, or the Foothills can apply to join this program. The money goes towards clothing them and all the training and their bunker gear we have to buy. It's really expensive to set up the cadets. So, this just helps them, and it gives them experience as to what working in emergency services is like. They get to experience like Peace Officers, Dispatch, they get to go to EMS. They get to see all this as well as the Fire Department."

The Highwood Centre is hosting the $100 a ticket Gala with doors opening at 5 and the ceremony starting at 6 p.m.