It’s still summer, we know, but our emergency responders are already prepared for winter, thanks to a generous donation of Red Cross winter jackets.

During last winter's Attawapiskat response, volunteers across Ontario were more than willing to help but most didn't have winter jackets that could handle the cold that dips well beyond -40. Some volunteers had to borrow jackets from friends and family members to ensure they could keep warm in the frigid temperatures.

To help prepare volunteers for future emergencies in cold weather, Ontario volunteer, Tim Steele, donated $10,000 to purchase jackets made for the kind of cold weather the Red Cross team experienced in Attawapiskat. The jackets, made for -25 degrees, are black and red with the Canadian Red Cross logo and the words “DISASTER RESPONDER” across the back.

With the help of a generous discount from the manufacturer, Tim's donation bought 100 jackets, which have already been distributed across the province. The jackets will be a great relief to volunteers while they are responding to emergencies across Ontario this the winter. If you are a trained disaster response volunteer, the jackets are available for purchase by contacting Tim at tssteele@sympatico.ca.

We won't go as far to say our disaster responders can't wait until winter, but at least they have some brand new jackets to look forward to!