Battle of the Badges
February 19, 2020
Red Deer Police and Firefighters go skate to skate.
On any given day, they work hand-in-hand to keep Red Deer safe. Two departments, dedicated to helping people in their times of need. But over the Family Day long weekend, that cooperation was replaced with some friendly rivalry. Red Deer RCMP and Emergency Services went head to head and skate to skate, in a true battle of the badges, a blue versus red showdown... once the ice was cleared.
“We brought a couple crews down to shovel,” laughs Tyler Pelke, Deputy Chief with Red Deer Emergency Services. “The rink was full of snow when we first got here, so we phoned our friends in Recreation and they came over with their Zamboni.”
Once all the snow was collected and dumped over the boards, the game was underway. It all began with an invitation from the local community association in Riverside Meadows. The organization held its annual Winterfest celebration with face painting, food, games and of course, skating.
“I’m a little bit surprised, in a good way, I’m very happy with the turnout, it’s been fun,” says Barbie Bradley, President of the Riverside Meadows Community Association. “We like to build community and show people there’s so much good in the community if people are willing to come out and give their time and get to know other people.”
Both the RCMP and Red Deer Emergency Services jumped at the chance to take part in the community event.
“Both of us are in the service industry and people call us when they need help. This is a time when you can interact with both the fire department and the police department in a friendly atmosphere and get to know each other a little bit better, so the community can get to know us and we get to know the community,” says Cpl. Mike Evans with the Red Deer RCMP.
It wasn’t just Mounties and firefighters battling for the puck. The Central Alberta Refugee Effort also held its weekly community skate for new Canadians and immigrant families new to Red Deer – and to skating and hockey.
“We’re putting a hockey stick in their hand and giving them a puck and letting them go at it,” says Cpl. Evans.
As for the battle of the badges, well, we don’t know who won, because no one kept score.
“I think they’re beating us, I dunno, I think it’s pretty even but I think the RCs are up by a little,” says Pelke.
“I think they’re taking it easy on us,” laughs Evans.
The Central Alberta Refugee Effort hosts Community Skates every Saturday from 2 - 4 p.m. at the Riverside Meadows outdoor rink at 6021 - 57 Avenue. Equipment is available to borrow for no cost, including training aides, skates, helmets, gloves and hockey sticks. For more information, visit the CARE website at www.immigrant-centre.ca.