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Edmonton firefighters camp out in the cold for Muscular Dystrophy Canada

Six firefighters with Edmonton Fire Rescue Services are camping out on the rooftop of Station 2 in the city’s downtown, in an effort to make a difference for families affected by muscular dystrophy.

Firefighter Liam Troy said this is a special opportunity to help Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

“It’s really special. This year has been a bit challenging to have families up on the rooftop,” he said, citing area construction and the weather.

“But last year was my first year doing it and it was an incredible experience to hang out with the families and the kids that are affected by muscular dystrophy, and just kind of see what this means to them.

“Our little part makes a big difference in their world.”

Firefighters campout on the roof of Station 2 in downtown Edmonton on Tuesday, February 27, 2024. Global Nwws

The temperature in Edmonton dropped drastically and a lot of snow fell in the region when the campout began on Monday morning.

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While they had a lot of snow to shovel off the roof, it did not deter the six firefighters who were focused on the cause.

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Troy was positive about the weather pointing out that as the temperature drops, people tend to feel bad for them and the donations start rolling in.

He joked about how they are attempting to stay warm even with some logistical issues.

“We had a little heater mix-up last night, so it was a little cold in the tent for a while, but we sorted it out. We got some good sleeping bags and if we need to share some body heat, we will figure that out,” Troy said.

Firefighters campout on the roof of Station 2 in downtown Edmonton on Tuesday, February 27, 2024. Global News

The connection between muscular dystrophy and firefighters started in the 1950s in Boston.

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“A friend of a firefighter came to the firehall looking for some assistance, then he rounded up a bunch of people to raise money for this family and then it kind of started to spread.”

Click to play video: 'Edmonton firefighters camp out for good cause'

Edmonton firefighters camp out for good cause

The Edmonton fire department has been doing the rooftop campout in support of muscular dystrophy in the early 2000s.

It was started in Edmonton by a firefighter named Paul McGonigal. They wanted to raise money for muscular dystrophy and chose something that grabbed the attention of the public: camping out in the cold Edmonton weather.

It also highlights an aspect of the condition.

Firefighters campout on the roof of Station 2 in downtown Edmonton on Tuesday, February 27, 2024.

“With neuromuscular diseases, you start to lose sensation and ability to use your muscles, ” Troy said.

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“Being up and being cold is our closest attempt — although not anywhere close to what families and individuals deal with on a daily basis.”

While firefighters said the support has been amazing so far, they welcome the public to visit them at Station 2: 10217 107 St. If you are not able they are also accepting donations online.

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