In an ongoing effort to raise funds to help those in need in the Jacksonville area, members of the fire department have joined others in the public safety community to take part in coldwater challenges.

Several challenges have been held recently.

David Bell, JPFFA Local 3948 president, said the Coldwater Challenge originated as a fundraiser for a cancer patient in the northern part of the country and has spread over the United States and internationally.

“We’re extremely proud of the members of the Jacksonville Fire Department and the public safety community as a whole who have accepted and performed coldwater challenges,” said Bell. “The public safety community is a giving group by nature, and this is just an extension of that. We’re problem solvers and go-getters who like to have a little daring fun so this is a perfect expression for us.”

Bell advises that anyone participating in a challenge have fun with it but do it safely.

“No charity event is worth getting hurt for,” he said.