Not once, but twice a day, every day since Camp Vernon was established, some dedicated residents have been showing up to do what they can to show their appreciation.
Residents like Mackenzie and Theresa Rawlins and Deborah Bouwmeester, who you can usually catch in the morning and again in the evening, seated outside the entrance to the camp every single day.
“They’re covered in soot from head to toe and they are absolutely deflated,” Bouwmeester said. “They are so tired, they are just wiped. It stirs our hearts, we just want to let them know that we care.”
The staple cheering squad is usually joined by numerous other people, young and old, as they wave pom poms, clap and hold signs of gratitude up as the firefighters return ‘home’ from the field, and when they head out. This group is just one of others. Another group of cheerleaders situated on Old Kamloops Road does the same.
“One man had to call his wife, because he said it meant so much to him that we’re always here cheering them on. It makes us feel so good knowing that it means so much,” said Mackenzie, who comes with her mom in the evenings.
It’s their way of showing thanks, for all the crews are doing to keep them safe.
“Just know that we’re here , we’re cheering you on and we’re thinking about when you’re not here,” Theresa said.
They’ve even been making blue and red ribbons to give to the firefighters, other supports and close friends and family.
A main reason they started coming out was because the amount of negativity on social media and in the community after the fire destroyed a number of homes in the Monte Lake area.
“These guys and their faces they just looked so defeated. But it’s not them, they’re doing their job and people were just so, so mean,” Theresa said, choking back tears.