This year, we were pleased to award three flood legacy bursaries to various New Brunswick emergency response teams.
One of these recipients was our first to take advantage of receiving a VIW course in place of an SRT1 course. They were a perfect candidate for this choice, since Rescue From Vehicles In Water course is only offered at a state-of-the-art facility north of Whistler, BC – which is limiting to first responders from Central and Eastern Canada!
Meet the 2019 recipients from New Brunswick.
Oromocto Fire – Chris Rinehart
In 2018, we experienced our “once in three hundred year flood”.
In a matter of approximately five hours, we went from bare roads to starting our first technical evacuation… and it was non-stop for 18 days after that.
We have experienced pretty severe flooding in 2005, 2008, 2018, and again this year. Each of these floods have been a huge learning curve for the individual firefighter, as well as the department as a whole. This year we even had military resources on day two of the flood.
Cambridge-Narrows Fire, and Queens County Mutual Responders Association – Paul Beale
I am a Volunteer Fire Chief in a rural area in NB, for the Cambridge-Narrows Fire Department. We are surrounded by the Grand Lake, Washademoak Lake and the Saint John River. We have five other mutual aid departments that also serve on these lakes. We are known as Queens County Mutual Responders Association. We have a 21-foot, flat bottom, Corolina Skiff with a 90hp motor.
The last two years, we have performed evacuations in our areas with this boat for flood victims, and have provided wellness checks and deliveries of water and even the odd prescription to these affected residents.
We have no formal training – only our pleasure craft operator cards. Our budgets are very tight, and we would like to have the chance to win this bursary for our Association so we have qualified and trained members to respond correctly and safely to the call. We are applying for the VIW course.
Keswick Ridge Fire – Ken Drake
I am active in the New Brunswick emergency response community. I am a full-time paramedic with Ambulance New Brunswick, and a volunteer firefighter with Keswick Ridge Fire Department.
My frist experience with flooding was during the 2018 flood season, during which I found the opportunity to assist in the rescue of people and pets in flooded areas. I found this both rewarding and exciting, and did not really understand the true power of water. I had the great fortune to work with brothers and sisters of other departments from around NB. I realize how lucky I am, and am thankful for the safety of my own family.
Thanks to this last course put on by Raven in NB just a few weeks ago – I feel much more prepared for this season’s flooding.