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Lillooet ambulance crew wins two teamwork awards

Recognized for work done during 2009 fire
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Janika Thur

Members of the Lillooet Ambulance crew proudly display the Tony Sunderland Memorial Plaque of Pride they received for their teamwork during the 2009 Mount McLean fire.

The Lillooet Ambulance Service has been honored with not one, but two awards for their teamwork during the 2009 Mount McLean fire. The awards were presented at a surprise luncheon held Wednesday, November 10 attended by the Lillooet ambulance crew, their families, as well as members of the Lillooet RCMP detachment, Stl’atl’imx Tribal Police and Lillooet Search and Rescue.

Also in attendance from the Interior BC Ambulance Service were Paul Swain, Director of Operations, Les Fisher, Chief Operating Officer, Tony Arimare, Executive Director of Human Resources, Paul Vallely, Superintendent for the Lillooet area, and Executive Director Larry Jackson.

Jackson presented the first award to the individual members of the Lillooet ambulance crew for regional teamwork. Jackson praised the crew for their work during the 2009 evacuation of Lillooet and acknowledged that many of the individuals were packing up the ambulance station while their spouses were evacuating their homes. “Through all of this you managed to provide 24 hour coverage which kept you away from your families who were at the evacuation centers.”

Jackson said the regional award was for “teamwork and recognizing the individuals for their exemplary service as working together as a team.”

The individuals receiving this award were Unit Chief Jane Christy, James Byrne, Brett Marotto, Kim Ayers, Chris Colbourne, Melissa Paulhus, Ejay Beresh, Rachael Johnson and Mike Whicher.

The second award was the provincial Tony Sunderland Memorial Plaque of Pride which is “a tribute to his dedication for the service and the spirit of excellence Tony conveyed at all times while serving his community regardless of personal commitments.”

“This provincial award was also for leadership and team effort,” said Jackson. “The short list is smaller for provincial awards so for Lillooet to receive both the provincial and regional awards, it’s quite significant.”

Christy also praised the Lillooet crew. “These guys are dedicated,” she said. “They came here from different places and this became their community and they are very community minded. They come and they adopt Lillooet as their community and they are all eager to help out in any way all the time. Three of the guys that were here on the fire all had holidays (during that time) and they opted to cancel their holidays to stay behind and help.”

“It’s the individual paramedics that make the ambulance service what it is,” Jackson said. “The community of Lillooet should be very proud of the service they have and the individuals who service their community.”


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