The extreme weather changes things. First responders all work together

Heavy snow means first responders need clearing help

B.C. Ambulance and Chilliwack Fire Department have both needed city snow removal crews to go in ahead of them on several occasions

Getting to emergencies in extreme weather is not quite as simple as it usually is for first responders in Chilliwack.

B.C. Ambulance and Chilliwack Fire Department personnel have both needed City of Chilliwack snow removal crews to go in ahead of them on several occasions recently to allow them to reach snowed-in residents during emergencies.

“We’ve assisted in six emergency calls since the storm event started,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz earlier this week.

Some calls were from gated communities or strata properties which are responsible for snow removal themselves.

“One of the big fears people have during these snow events is that somehow during an emergency, the first responders won’t be able to reach them. We’re getting lots of letters like that.

“So we’ve been trying to reassure our citizens who may be very fearful.”

The way it works is Chilliwack-based responders all work together, so when a citizen calls 9-1-1, a city plow can be dispatched to clear the way for the ambulance or fire department personnel to get through.

Plowing equipment is dispersed around Chilliwack.

“People forget we have 100 square miles (258 square km) of community to cover in Chilliwack,” the mayor said.

There is no one dedicated piece of equipment held in reserve to respond to emergencies. All hands on deck are clearing snow.

“It’s better to have them spread around so they can respond in time,” said Gaetz.

Just Posted

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Light trucks are being converted to gas and propane in City of Chilliwack fleet

It came to light when tenders for certain trucks were deemed non-compliant without propane option

Family of missing Chilliwack senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

One-day delay for trial of Chilliwack pastor facing child porn charges

Main Street Church’s former executive pastor John Vermeer set for seven-day trial

Rail group to bring plan to Abbotsford council

Group is calling for plans to run trains on rail line between Chilliwack and Surrey

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Hazmat incident closes down Lower Mainland street

One person is believed to be dead, police said

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

Pride flags stolen from Lower Mainland church

Went missing sometime Friday night, says Maple Ridge reverend

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Most Read