Public Safety Lifeline Volunteer 2016 Award Winners
From left: Alan Mallet, Wayne Hartley, Bridget Ann Milsom, Ralph Mohrmann, Edward Jones, Holly Jones, Clare Fletcher, Christine Ritson, Brian Dunham
Emergency Social Services – Wayne Hartley (Vancouver Island Region)
Wayne’s involvement with Emergency Social Services began in 1998 when he helped establish the first BC Emergency Social Services Staffing Bureau for a fire in Salmon Arm. Since then, Wayne has been an active member of the Central Region (Okanagan) and Vancouver Island Mobile Support Teams and has been deployed to multiple cities, towns and communities where he dedicates numerous hours setting up reception centres, group lodging facilities and mentoring local ESS teams. Wayne has been invited by the Justice Institute to participate in the development of ESS training programs and actively provides training for his local team members. Today, Wayne is the Assistant Director in Nanaimo’s Disaster Assistance program and also a Deputy Director of the Vancouver Island Mobile Support Team.
Wayne’s enthusiasm and creative ideas have been and continue to be instrumental in the training of ESS volunteers. Wayne is constantly evaluating how things are running and suggesting ways we can work together to improve. He works well with the ESS members and other PSLV groups, and is always willing to assist in any way he can.He says volunteering has been extremely rewarding, and that he loves helping people.
Search and Rescue – Bridget Ann Milsom (South West Region)
Bridget has been a member of North Shore Rescue since 1996. She has a wealth of expertise and knowledge in outdoor pursuits and mountaineering, including: 11 International climbing trips and over 60 peaks summited in B.C. and Alberta. She also has First Aid training and Emergency Planning experience as the Director of Training for BC and Yukon for Saint John Ambulance and Life Member of the First Aid Ski Patrol.
Within a year of graduating from Member in Training to Active Member, Bridget became the Training Officer for North Shore Rescue. After four years in this role Bridget became the Team Leader, and the first female leader of the North Shore Rescue team in the process. Bridget became heavily involved with the BC Search and Rescue Association and for twelve years served as the South West Regional Representative to this group. During her tenure in this position Bridget built a sense of community between the team and other service providers, as well as with other volunteer search and rescue teams.
Radio Communications – Alan Mallett (Vancouver Island Region)
Inspired by the radio in Sgt. Joe Friday’s cruiser on Dragnet, Alan discovered as a child that late at night he could listen to the LAPD on 1680AM from the family tabletop radio. Alan managed to convince his mother that walkie-talkies would be a great summer diversion and progressed to CB radio and ultimately amateur radio. Allan enrolled in “HAM class” in 1970, received his Restricted Operators Certification – Land and Marine – in 1975, and in the mid-80s, became the radio coordinator for the City of Victoria.
Upon retirement from the City of Victoria in 1985, Alan joined the Auxiliary communications group for the City of Victoria and became the Communications Coordinator in 2010. Alan has fostered the growth of a team of highly skilled dedicated volunteers. His technical expertise, knowledge and methodical work provide the City of Victoria with a communications team and an auxiliary communications system that can support emergency events at all levels.
Mr. Mallett’s consistent and effective leadership has grown the capacity for emergency communications in B.C. Alan has been a champion for clear and accurate radio communications during emergency events and through his lifelong passion contributed greatly to overall public safety.
PEP Air – Brian Dunham (Vancouver Island Region)
Brian is a veteran of the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Airforce. For his last 30 years of service, he was employed as a RCAF Search and Rescue Technician. During this time, he had the honour to spend eight years working directly with PEP Air as a member of the 442 Squadron CASARA Liaison Office in Comox.
On his retirement from the military in 2007, Brian became a proud member of PEP Air. Initially utilized as a Training Facilitator, he helped design and revise a number of lesson plans, as well as planning and instructing formal PEP Air courses. In 2009 he was selected as the Assistant Provincial Training Officer.
In 2010, Brian was appointed as the Provincial Training Officer, a position he held for four years. His duties included providing province wide training programs and field training, as well as maintaining provincial and national standards for the provinces 550+ volunteers. He was deeply involved in the continuing development of PEP Air’s Search Coordinator Program, and also employed as a Search Headquarters Representative during a number of searches.
Brian was selected this year as a civilian (PEP Air / CASARA) member of the Directing Staff for the RCAF Assistant Search Master course, held in Sydney, Nova Scotia earlier this month. Brian Dunham is currently an active member of the PEP CASARA Executive committee and resides in Courtenay, B.C.
Road Rescue – Edward Jones (South East Region)
Ed grew up in Grande Prairie, Alberta, and the small town values that came with that town have carried forward with him. After spending time living and working in Calgary, he met his wife, Holly, and they moved to her hometown of Invermere, B.C. in late 2009.
Ed always had an interest in joining a fire department and in 2011 Invermere Fire Rescue had a spot for him. During his 5 years of service, he has enjoyed learning everything about firefighting, vehicle and heavy rescue extrication along with emergency preparedness and management. He has an especially keen interest in road rescue, and has completed courses in heavy equipment extrication and vehicle extrication. Ed enjoys being able to give back to his community through the Invermere Fire Rescue. He and his wife welcomed their first baby, a girl, in March 2016.
Lifetime Achievement – George Merchant (South West Region)
George Merchant has been an Amateur Radio operator (Ham) for over forty years. He has been interested in radio ever since his early teens when he started his career in broadcast engineering. After a successful career as chief engineer at CTV Calgary, George later branched out and made the transition to information systems management, after graduating with an MBA degree from Simon Fraser University.
Almost 40 years ago, he put one of the few Ham repeaters on the air; about 30 years ago, he was a founding member of the North Shore Amateur Radio Club; and twenty years ago, he was a founding member of the British Columbia Amateur Radio Coordination Council – a provincewide group that allows Ham clubs and individuals to coordinate their activities for the general benefit of all Hams in B.C. George has also been a member of the North Shore's Emergency Communications Team since its creation. He is now retired and has enjoyed over 53 years of marriage to Dolores.