Recent floods in British Columbia show firefighters how they have become an all-hazardous emergency provider.
Firefighters are one of the first to be called into a crisis situation and they determine which additional services need to get involved. Simply, they take care of the immediate threat to life. Our fire service community needs support from you, from the government, and the community as these events of the past two years clearly demonstrate how they have become an all-hazardous emergency provider.
Current Flood Situation in BC
The current situation that the Province of British Columbia is facing with flooding and rockslides puts additional pressure on the fire service community in particular. If they weren’t already, they certainly are now, more than ever an all-hazard provider. Usually, as the first responder, they are required to make life-saving decisions in a timely manner and determine which additional support needs to be brought to the scene. A recent example of this is those that were called to the mudslide in Agassiz Fire Department (AFD) where individuals were trapped in their cars. These front-line workers, along with others, saved the lives and their presence alone calmed the fears of many.
The Canada Task Force 1 (CTF1) is a Canadian multi-disciplinary team that brings together firefighters, and specialists like engineers, paramedics, police, and others. Together they come in to back up local response agencies in all aspects of major emergency response. Many volunteers their time to participate in this important, national asset. This week they were deployed to Highway 7 to address several submerged objects and worked closely with AFD. The Canada Task Force 2 (CTF2), a team based in Alberta, recently assisted Whitehorse as they battled major flooding. As a result of climate change, wildfires and unusual weather events are more frequent and more severe. The risk is still out there as we see with the recent events in Abbotsford.
Photo courtesy of @DriveBC