Why Winnipeg firefighters are camping out on a rooftop

A group of firefighters is camping out in the cold over the next few days intending to raise money for an important cause.

From March 21 to 24, Winnipeg firefighters will be spending the night on the roof of the Osborne Village fire station for the Firefighter Rooftop Campout, which raises money for Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

This year’s campout marks the first time the event has returned since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s good to be back, get back to some normality…It’s been a long time in the works,” said Stephen Nixon, an executive with the United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg (UFFW), on Wednesday.

Nixon said the fundraiser generates most of its money from firefighters and volunteers getting out on the streets and asking for donations.

Winnipeg firefighters have been supporting Muscular Dystrophy Canada for 68 years and have raised more than $1.1 million. The money has helped to fund research, advocacy, equipment, and support programs.

“You talk to people that have [muscular dystrophy], it’s very hard what they go through and the challenge they live with every day,” Nixon said.

“For what we do and the money we raise, it all stays in Manitoba and provides a better life for these people.”

Rhema Idonije, a firefighter who’s participating in the campout, said the fundraiser means a lot to those who have neuromuscular disorders.

“All these donations and the work that’s being done here today goes and impacts them directly and that’s what it’s all about,” he said.

Those who want to contribute can come down to the fire hall to donate.

– With files from CTV’s Joseph Bernacki.

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