Northumberland County Firefighter’s Polar Plunge took place on Sunday November 26, 2023 at Wicklow Beach Boat Launch.
There were five fire departments from across Northumberland County who that raised donations for Movember which is about raising funds for mental health, suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
Since 2003 Movembnr has funded more than 15,00 men’s health projects around the world.
Alnwick/Haldimand Township Fire Department firefighter Mark Mitro started the event locally with other services around Northumberland County joining.
The culmination was the event held on Sunday with five different fire departments including, Brighton Fire Department, Cobourg Fire Department, Port Hope Fire and Emergency Services, Cramahe Fire Department and Alnwick/Haldimand Township Fire Department at the Wicklow Beach Boat Launch on the shores of Lake Ontario.
Motivation for the fundraising which started three years ago locally, was Alnwick/Haldimand Township firefighter Kyle Jeremy being diagnosed with testicular cancer.
“That motivated us three years ago for a big Movember push and we raised $100,000 and we’ve kept it going since,” said Mitro.
As of Sunday, Northumberland County is in fifth place nationally in the fundraising standings with just under $16,000.
“It’s exciting. We start out every year wondering how far we’re going to go, but it’s always awesome at the end.”
Temperature of Lake Ontario at Wicklow hovered around 11 Celsius.
Jeremy said before the dip that it’s “humbling” to have the support he’s had from the beginning from firefighters in Alnwick/Haldimand Township and around the county.
In October 2019, Jeremy was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
As doctors looked into it more, three other tumours were detected going all the way up to his neck.
“After that I had the initial surgery, then a bunch of chemo, then a larger surgery at the end to get rid of everything.”
Jeremy said he’s had a clean bill of health the last two years.
Mitro said with most departments in Northumberland County it’s a part-time job being a firefighter.
“The only reason we do it is to give back to our communities. But the reason we stay is we love everyone that’s doing that as well. So we become a family – a brotherhood, a sisterhood of people we can lean on if we need help.”