As we remember Firestorm 2003, let me add our two cents’ worth.
Our emergency animal rescue volunteers responded to Firestorm 2003 as well to evacuate animals and safely shelter them during this hell.
That year, we had decided to join an American group called Noah’s Wish.
Believe me, we were kept busy during the summer of 2003. First in Osoyoos with a fire on Anarchist Mountain. Then, a gas leak in Penticton.
On the August long weekend, we deployed to 100 Mile House to cover Barriere north and then split our team to assist in Kamloops.
With only a two-day break from that fire, we mobilized to Kelowna.
It was an amazing response and with the guidance of a mentor from the Justice Institute, Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team was born.
Our volunteers worked around the clock and to this day, many of that crew are still recovering from compassion fatigue and burnout.
This dedicated group of people still meet monthly and we are proud to say that the team covers the communities from Princeton/Osoyoos all the way up to and including Winfield. Our colleagues in rescue, Noah’s Wish, have gifted us with their response trailer to better service our communities.
The Emergency Social Services Association has tasked us with providing training in all six areas of this province and trusted us with their bank account. This summer we completed training in Oliver and in Salmon Arm and many communities throughout B.C. have requested our aid.
We are proud to stand tall with the ESS volunteers we support!