NEWS FILE PHOTO

EDITORIAL: In face of tough week, Port Alberni first responders deserve our respect

Last week was a difficult week for first responders in the Alberni Valley…

Last week was a difficult week for first responders in the Alberni Valley.

On Sunday, they turned out in force to say farewell to Sproat Lake firefighter Carla Kulczycki, who died of work-related cancer. On Tuesday, members of the Port Alberni Fire Department were preparing to attend a funeral for retired member Bruce Trenholm when they were called to the first fatal car accident on Burde Street at Carriere Road.

Port Alberni RCMP’s detachment was already two members down after they were hit with bear spray earlier that morning while responding to a different accident. They had to call neighbouring detachments for help.

As the fog became even thicker and day transitioned into evening, first responders were called to yet another serious motor vehicle accident, this one on Highway 4 just past Sproat Lake Volunteer Fire Department’s hall on the highway. Unfortunately, someone died in this incident as well.

On Wednesday, firefighters in Cherry Creek and around the Alberni Valley learned that another colleague, Brian Brick, died of work-related cancer.

It goes without saying that many residents are grieving family members or friends after two fatal car accidents in one day, and we are not taking away from their losses in the wake of these tragedies.

It is easy to forget that first responders, although carrying out their jobs, are also human. They are there when we are suffering our worst moments, and we rely on them as our strength to get us through tragic situations. They expend all their energy investigating to ensure those involved in major accidents receive the answers that inevitably follow.

They live in our community too, and are sometimes called upon to help people they know.

When the emergencies are over, sites cleaned up, gear packed away, and the adrenalin stops flowing, those first responders must also deal with the personal fallout of attending serious accidents.

First responders are a special type of person: they dedicate their time and careers to helping others in their time of need. It is important that we recognize, respect and respond to them when it is their turn for help.

— Alberni Valley News

Just Posted

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: Meet the candidates for the Courtenay-Alberni riding

In an effort to inform the Courtenay-Alberni riding constituents, we have supplied… Continue reading

City of Port Alberni offers support after fatal bus crash

Two University of Victoria students killed after crash en route to Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre

Participants double at Parkinson’s Superwalk in Port Alberni

Second annual event also saw an increase in funds raised

Alberni School District considers three name changes

Neill Elementary, Ucluelet Secondary and school district identified for new names

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

VIDEO: We’re not ‘cold-blooded killers’ of bears, B.C. conservation officer says

When it’s a matter of public safety, the animals pay the ultimate price

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

Most Read