LETTER: ADSS students want heroes to spend zero

Firefighters do, in fact, receive free beverages while in uniform

To the Editor,

We are a group of high school students at ADSS who go by the name “Heroes Spend Zero.”

Our group is working hard to give back to the community. We were founded in a Social Justice 11/12 class and everyone had the responsibility to create a project that betters Port Alberni. Our project started with the initial understanding that firefighters did not receive free hot beverages from Tim Hortons while in uniform.

Based on testimonials from employees and firefighters themselves, we believed that to be true. Upon hearing that Tim Hortons offers this service to on-duty RCMP and paramedics, we knew we had to shift focus to the firefighters. Through talks with the owner of all three local Tim Hortons, we were delighted to discover that firefighters do, in fact, receive these perks.

Our group spoke to firefighters and there was one who stated that he has a “brother, a full-time firefighter in Kitimat, where the fire department and ambulance are run by the same people. The brother, who picks up shifts as a paramedic, was given free coffee in his paramedic uniform but denied in his firefighter uniform,” indicating that there was miscommunication through Tim Hortons employees.

We realized that the problem is not with Tim Horton’s policies, but with the workers themselves being ill-informed. We have spoken with Stefanie Weber, the owner of our local Tim Hortons locations. To her understanding “everyone in uniform that serves the community is recognized in some fashion,” but the firefighters have said that “one out of nine times they will receive free coffee,” which appears to contradict this.

We believe that employees are simply unaware. A situation arose in the summer of 2018 where an employee asked a manager if the volunteer firefighters should receive free coffee, after calling to inform the store that they were coming to get food and coffee. The manager informed the employee that it was too expensive. This contradicts the owner’s previous remark that “initial training covers all such programs and shift supervisors or managers are on hand every shift to support team members in execution of policies and procedures.”

We would like to thank Stefanie Weber and her Tim Hortons for what they have done and continue to do for our first responders. In the future we hope to hear great things from the interactions our local heroes have with Tim Hortons!

ADSS Heroes Spend Zero

students,

Port Alberni

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