Public Safety Lifeline Volunteer 2015 Award Winners

Emergency Social Services – Moira Clark (NEA)

Moira was born in Scotland and came from a family of 10, living on a farm where there were always a lot of emergencies. Moira started responding to emergencies at a young age: when she was just 12 years old, their house caught fire and she had to rescue her sister whose dress was on fire; she grabbed her and threw her out into the snow.

Fast forward to today and Moira has been involved in Taylor’s emergency program for 23 years. Her first involvement was in 1993, when she had to rescue foxes from a fox farm that flooded. She went by canoe to rescue them, grabbing them by the tail and pulling them into her canoe. They rescued many and Moira took 14 baby foxes home and raised them.  On another ESS activation, Moira helped a family who were crossing the Peace River on horseback; both the husband and son were lost down river. Moira  assisted with the effort by feeding those who were out searching, setting up a trailer by the river and providing meals. She was also involved in the January 1999, Solex Gas Liquids plant explosions, assisting with the evacuation of women, children and animals, and the July 2014 Hudson Hope evacuation, assisting with evacuation, mentoring the  Fort St. John ESS team, setting up the reception centre and receiving the evacuees.

Moira is very passionate about volunteering and feels it is very important for people to be involved and trained to be ready to assist those in disasters; people are in shock and they need someone who can help them get through it.  She says that volunteering has been very rewarding, and that she loves helping people.

PEP Air – Louis Dery (NEA)

Lou joined PEP Air in August of 2005 and has been an active and supportive member ever since. As a PEP Air volunteer, Lou is trained as a Spotter and Navigator and has become an Instructor in both categories. In addition, Lou is trained and qualified as a Search Coordinator and has taken on the additional responsibility of Deputy Zone Commander.

Lou was recently selected to attend the military Search Master's course in Sydney, Nova Scotia.  Each year, up to four non-military personnel from across Canada are selected to attend this highly coveted training program. The Province of BC is very fortunate to have Lou selected to attend this course; and when he completes the course, Lou will be certified nationally as an Assistant Search Master, an honour that very few people outside the Canadian military have achieved.
Lou’s quiet enthusiasm and creative ideas have been and continue to be instrumental in the success of PEP Air in Prince George and the North East Region. Lou is constantly evaluating how we do things and how we can improve.

Lou works well with the members and other PSLV groups, and is always willing to assist in any way he can.

Search and Rescue – John Howe (SWE)

John began with  Squamish Search and Rescue in 1987 and currently serves as the president and search manager with Squamish Search and Rescue.  Over the years, John has lead the development of many of the specialized rescue disciplines which the team relies upon to effect safe operations.  His work also went beyond Squamish SAR and included participation in the development of a Provincial Mountain Rescue training program.

John has been involved with hundreds of SAR incidents over the years, notably the August 2010, Tyler Wright Search and the recent rescue of a hypothermic subject Christine Newman that effected best practices in the management of hypothermia subjects.

John is a Registered Professional Forester and has been the owner/operator of his Squamish-based business for 15 years.  In 2006, he was awarded citizen of the year for his outstanding contribution to the Squamish community.  Additionally in 2010, he was recognized by the Premier of British Columbia for his work on the Olympic Park venue construction where one of the trails now bears his name “Howe it goes”.

Radio Communications – Neil Townsend (VIR)

Neil received his Amateur Radio License in 1993 and started volunteering at EMBC in March 2011.

Prior to volunteering at Emergency Management BC (EMBC), he was the former Emergency Radio Communications Coordinator for the Red Cross - BC Coastal Region located in Victoria. As the Red Cross Radio Communications Coordinator, Neil participated in cross-border, Canadian American Search and Rescue Exercise in 2000.

Currently Neil is the Radio Station Manager for the Provincial Emergency Coordination Centre and the Vancouver Island Region Provincial Regional Emergency Operations Centre as well as the Assistant Regional Emergency Radio Representative for Southern Vancouver Island. He started volunteering at EMBC in March 2011. Notably, Neil provided radio communications during the Haida Gwaii Earthquake and Tsunami in October 2012, and has supported large-scale exercises like The Great BC Shakeout, Exercise Switch On 2012 and Cross Border 2014.

Road Rescue –Dave Laramee (SEA)

Dave has been an active volunteer firefighter with the Tarrys Volunteer Fire Department located in the Regional District of Central Kootenays since September 2003, and a training officer since July 2009.

In Dave’s role as training officer, he is responsible for providing extrication training to prepare firefighters for Road Rescue Extrication Services for Motor Vehicle Accidents in the area of Tarrys, Thrums, Beasley, Blewett, Pass Creek, Crescent Valley and Slocan Park.  

Dave continuously provides this valuable training to all members and has devoted many hours of his personal time to preparing and delivering this training. He has also attended and successfully completed several train-the-trainer courses over the years to keep up and enhance his extrication skills. He is a definite an asset to the department and our community.       

Lifetime Achievement – Cindy Heslop (VIR)

Cindy has been a dedicated member of the Town of View Royal Emergency Program since 1999, serving as both an Emergency Social Services (ESS) responder and Deputy Emergency Program Coordinator. 

She is a passionate and valued emergency program volunteer.  As an ESS Level One Team Lead, Cindy has been instrumental in promoting the growth of the ESS and Emergency Radio team in View Royal from a handful of volunteers to a membership of close to 40. 

Cindy produced the Town’s original Emergency Response and Recovery Plan and continues to be actively involved in drafting procedures, policies and plans for all aspects of the Emergency Program.  She recently created a manual for ESS and Radio volunteers that outlines the important facets of the Emergency Program, and has created the Level 1 and Level 2 ESS response procedures that form the basis for much of the ESS operations and volunteer training. 

Early on, Cindy initiated a program in the Town of View Royal that involved purchasing workplace emergency kits for each staff member.  After persuading council to approve a budget, she assembled the kits herself.  The emergency kits are to this day a mandatory item issued to all new staff members and fire department volunteers. 

Cindy managed to procure and stock three 20-foot sea containers to house emergency supplies for the community, schools and ESS and Emergency Program volunteers with grant funding.

She continues to promote a culture of emergency preparedness through workshops in the community and among staff and volunteers. In her many years as a Public Safety Lifeline Volunteer, Cindy has truly made a positive difference.