By Jensen, Randy on April 1, 2020.
A Nobleford volunteer firefighter shot to death on a rural road near Glendon, Alta., this past weekend while hunting for food to feed his family is being remembered as a dedicated husband and father who wore his heart on his sleeve.
“Jake was always a person who was willing to step up at the fire department to help work on the vehicles and do the training, and come in on calls,” remembers Nobleford Fire Department chief Ryan Wagner, who has known Jake Sansom as a fellow firefighter for the past three years. “He was always one who was willing to help show his care for the community and his fellow firefighters. He did speak about his wife and kids quite a bit. It’s who he was. He wore his heart on his sleeve. He would help out anybody.”
Sansom, 39, a MŽtis with traditional hunting rights, was reportedly killed alongside his uncle Morris Cardinal between 8 p.m. Friday nd 4 a.m. Saturday when their bodies were discovered near Township Road 622 and Range Road 484 close to Glendon. Reports suggest the two men were hunting for moose to feed their families after Sansom’s recent layoff from his job in northern Alberta. Police are investigating the incident and have deemed the deaths “suspicious.”
Wagner says he hopes police are able to figure out what happened, but in the meantime he has spoken with Sansom’s wife, Sarah, and pledged the department’s support in any way it can to help her and her children in this time of loss.
“The community as small as Nobleford is a tight-knit community, and people know each other and family ties go all sorts of ways,” he says. “Everyone is heartbroken.”
It hits even closer to home for Wagner because he considered Sansom a friend as well as a colleague.
“We train for all these emergencies, whether it be medical, fire or motor vehicle collisions,” he says. “You can’t train for something like this. He was a friend, a fellow firefighter, and it’s tough on a lot of people in the community. It’s not something you can ever be prepared for.”
Wagner says local community members and firefighters from across the region are rallying around the family.
“The shock is there for all, but you are starting to see the support come more and more,” he says. “I have seen one or two GoFundMe pages for the family. Others in the community are willing to help out however which way they can. Our fire society is going to be dealing with the family directly and will help sustain them for what they can cover to help the family at this time.”
A GoFundMe page called “Sarah’s Support” has already raised about $30,000 for Sansom’s wife and children. People who wish to help out can go to http://www.gofundme.com/f/dx63t3-sarahs-support.
– With files from The Canadian Press
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