Archives for December 20, 2017
Phone Jordy Bosscha – Keremeos FD at 250-499 – 2200
Firefighters vehicles ransacked while on dangerous call
Keremeos firefighters came back from an emergency call near Hedley to find vehicles ransacked and items stolen from personal vehicles.
As Keremeos firefighters were executing a dangerous mountainside rescue, a thief was ransacking vehicles back at the fire hall Monday night.
In a hurry to get suited up and on the truck headed out to Nickel Plate Road where a truck had plummeted about 200 feet with two people inside, several firefighters left their vehicles unlocked.
While firefighters braved the cold and treacherous conditions a thief was busy.
A child’s backpack and a duffle bag were taken from one vehicle, luckily the thief didn’t see new Christmas presents in the back of another.
“It’s really discouraging. We’re helping people in need and somebody takes advantage,” Keremeos Fire Chief Jordy Bosscha said.
Anyone that knows about these thefts is encouraged to contact the RCMP.
It was a precarious situation as Keremeos firefighters worked to extricate a person from a truck that slid off Nickel Plate Road near Hedley coming to a rest about 200 feet down the mountainside.
The truck plummeted down 200 feet sometime in the afternoon. One man was able to free himself from the truck and walk out to signal for help.
Jordy Bosscha, fire chief for the department, said the fire department was called around 6:45 Monday night. He noted the rescue was very challenging.
“First we had to send down a few members to get to the person trapped in the vehicle. We had to find the easiest and safest way down we could,” he said.
The Hedley and Keremeos fire departments attended the scene. Soon ambulance arrived and then Princeton Highway Rescue. Argo Road Maintenance also came and sanded Nickel Plate Road during the rescue to make it easier for emergency vehicles to use the roadway.
“An ambulance got stuck. We got up to the point that if we had momentum we were good, if we got stopped, we couldn’t go any further. We ended up stopped about 100 feet from the scene. It was a lot of humping, packing the tool,s generator. We had to come up with a plan. We had virtually nothing to tie-off our ropes and harnesses to. We were working on quite a few different plans and Princeton showed up and were able to get to their truck around and tie-off to their truck.”
The rescue took several hours to complete. First sending firefighters climbing down to check on the occupants.
“It was really thick with brush and a lot of holes. They followed the creek down. There was steep drop offs. It was a real challenge for them,” he said.
Once the Princeton Highway Rescue truck was secure and in position several firefighters were lowered down by basket with extrication equipment to get the man out of the truck.
Bosscha wasn’t sure the extent of the men’s injuries but said the man who was extricated was conscience and talking before being taken to hospital.
Bosscha said the department has been busy with vehicle callouts over the last few days. On Sunday a vehicle rolled over in Olalla and firefighters extricated a person form the car. Tuesday morning the department received a call that vehicle had run off the road and went down a 75-foot embankment near the Chopaka Bridge.
“Fortunately the person was able to walk out,” he said.
Thanks to Black Press Digital – an exclusive …..
The longest night
The shortest day
May the sun shine bright
As it did in May
Each season had its own smell. Spring had moist dirt and the orchard blossoms. Summer was sage brush and grease wood mixed in with the pine trees and leather. The leather was from the baseballs and the gloves we wore all summer long. Oh the smell of the apples and pears ripening during the long kind fall months. Winter was wet wool from our winter attire. Though snow was rare we found enough to toboggan. There is nothing of those scents for me since I left Oliver to live in Cawston. They were there, but I just didn’t recognize them.
The Similkameen was a wonderful and safe place to grown up into a young adult. But when my dad decided I should be making my own way in the world I was packaged up and sent off to try working in the forest industry. Thank goodness for my big brother and his family. They took me in and steered me to making good money. I soon discovered that it would be a wise thing to learn some first aid skills. Sawmills were a very dangerous place for anyone to work in. Especially a skinny new working man. I took my first WCB First Aid course and volunteered to work on the Midway Ambulance. The challenges I faced and met doing the sawmill work and the often gruesome work of the ambulance only re-enforced my need to learn more first aid.
I heard about the provincial plans to start a BC Ambulance Service. That they were going to be looking for experienced first aiders with any ambulance experience. I quickly considered the challenges that would face me if I was to become an Emergency Medical Attendant and full of nervous excitement I applied to the Metropolitan Ambulance Service in Vancouver. I was interviewed over the telephone and was told to be at their offices in two weeks. Oh my goodness what have I done was the first thing to go through my mind when I hung up the phone. I am married with a young child, a secure good paying job and I am going to take a new job I barely understood was or what it entailed. Not only that, it was in Vancouver. I could barely wait to hand in my notice at the mill offices.
Wide eyed country boy hits the big city. Let me tell you that it was a shocking yet exhilarating experience and I immediately knew it was where I intended to spend the rest of my working and learning days. Adrenaline rushes and tremendous downs day in and day out. Helping people in their times of need and pain. Making a positive difference and yes, even averting a sure deadly result from sickness and injuries. Not boasting but stating pure fact.
What I didn’t learn about fast enough was that all those traumatic events were playing hell with my mind. Year after year of such intense emotional scaring I found out, is not humanly possible to survive unscathed. Bent and twisted physically for sure I understood but mentally? Give me a break I’m a paramedic. I can do and survive anything. I was wrong and sick.
I left the BC Ambulance service in September 1999 after realizing I would only shorten my life by staying. I didn’t know why exactly but I knew. The Gakhal murders April 5, 1996, Good Friday, was the last straw. Not only the murders themselves but how we paramedics were mistreated by the BC Ambulance Services afterwards. No support for mental care and treatments or the employees of BCAS or WBC.
Because I left BCAS and became a National Servicing Representative for the Canadian Union of Public Employees I had new challenges that kept my BCAS injuries low key and mostly hidden away. But, after 12 years I started to notice what I heard others express to me. I was angry, unhappy, antisocial and mostly very depressed. None of those descriptive words were me at all, normally. I went to my doctor and he recommended that I should take medical leave from my work. I did and asked my employer for their support and Human Resources to help find me psychiatric help.
Now I half expected my CUPE Employer to be resistant to help me but I was sure wrong thinking that. Nothing but support, encouragement and financial assistance. Thank you CUPE.
I was seeing a Registered Psychologist every day for a while and it did stretch out to less frequent but that care lasted over one year. Once I started to real feel the heal I advised CUPE that I was taking my early retirement options. Again I received full and complete support from CUPE National.
Soon I was seeking another place to live, far away from the busy urban city. I thought immediately of my birth place Oliver. I could surely be well there and renew my happy life I missed so much. Family considerations had to be made and we decided that we could live in Scotch Creek. There I continue to get well. Better by immeasurably huge steps. But I miss the smells of the seasons I had as a child. I must travel south to experience them again although most of our apples have been replaced by grapes. Well, there’s always wines to sniff out.
Editor: if you wish to speak to Don about PTSD or any other matter – let me know and I shall forward your contact info to him.