By Tim Leeds
Havre firefighters plan to be out in their firetrucks and ambulances helping the needy Tuesday and Wednesday hopefully with no fires involved.
The firefighters and commmunity volunteers will go door to door in the annual ELF Everybody Loves a Firefighter food drive.
Capt. Mike Anderson said this is about the sixth year the department has done the charity food drive.
"It seems to work pretty good," he said.
Last year the drive collected 4,800 pounds of food, a record.
Ralph Guthrie, pastor of the Salvation Army in Havre, said the food will be split evenly between the Salvation Army and the North Havre Community Food Bank.
"This will help us keep our shelves stocked, supplied for the year," he said.
The holiday season, a time with great demand for food, is the only time the Salvation Army has a food drive, he added.
The firefighters will drive with their vehicle lights and sirens on to get people's attention. Then firefighters and volunteers will go to houses on each block, collecting nonperishable food items. About 12 firefighters will collect each night from 6 to 9 p.m.
Guthrie said volunteers need to meet at the Fire Department at 5:45 each night. In the past, college, high school and church youth organizations have come out to help with the drive. It looks like some of those groups might be helping again this year, he said.
Having some adult volunteers to supervise kids on the drive is very important, Guthrie said, in case the firefighters are called away on an emergency.
"We need a lot of adults," he said. "We need as many adults as we can get."
Anderson said the exact routes are not planned yet, but the firefighters will cover the city east of Fifth Avenue on Tuesday night, and Highland Park and the rest of Havre west of Fifth Avenue on Wednesday.