Red Cross to cover B.C. man’s $20,000 emergency airfare after evacuation

Evacuated to Whitehorse during wildfires but had to be flown to Vancouver for heart condition

A southern B.C. man’s $20,000 emergency airfare incurred during 2017’s wildfire season will be paid by the Red Cross.

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett says she is pleased to announce a resolution to the plight of 90-year-old Rudolph Dunst of Lone Butte.

Dunst and his 87-year-old wife were forced to evacuate during last summer’s wildfires. They were able to find accommodation in Whitehorse but he was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with a heart condition. He required a procedure that could not be performed in Whitehorse and was airlifted to St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver via Yukon Air.

This left Dunst with a $20,000 bill for emergency airfare.

According to Barnett, he approached her office on December 14 of last year and Dunst eventually spoke directly with a ministry official who told him that his transportation costs would not be covered because it was ‘out of province’ travel.

Barnett raised the matter twice during question period at the Legislature. Health minister Adrian Dix repeatedly gave assurances. Barnett then approached the Red Cross directly and advocated on behalf of Mr. Dunst. The Red Cross kindly agreed to cover the $20,000 bill for emergency airfare.

“I find it rather disturbing to have this poor man put through months of unnecessary distress,” said Barnett. “Why didn’t the minister act when he had the opportunity? It is only through a determined effort at the highest levels that finally brought this matter to a close. The health minister should be ashamed of himself.”

We reached out the the Red Cross and Health Minister Adrian Dix and are currently waiting to hear back. We will update the story when we do.


max.winkelman@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Rikhi family donates $60,000 to Penticton Regional Hospital expansion

Donation made in memory of Raksha Rikhi, a nurse from Summerland

Bobsleigh on display in Summerland

Used sleigh set up in honour of Olympic gold medal athlete Justin Kripps

Penticton RCMP want you to Cram the Kennel

RCMP officers, volunteers will be filling kennels with food and pet supplies donations

Summerland utility rates to increase

Water and sewer rates to rise five per cent; electrical increase is two per cent

Summerland Steam acquires Princeton Posse captain

Junior B team acquires Lane French in exchange for Tristan Hewitt

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

B.C. Lions hire DeVone Claybrooks as head coach

Former Stampeders DC succeeds CFL legend Wally Buono

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

Women charged with stealing money from Okanagan hospice return to court

Susan Steen and Melanie Gray are charged with theft over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000

Kelowna church helping people change their lives

Programs exemplify community service ideals of St. Andrews Anglican Parish congregation

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Most Read