Volunteers who helped White Rock Lake wildfire evacuees this summer were honoured with a special luncheon Oct. 27.
Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming extended his gratitude to the 169 volunteers who answered the call to help at the Emergency Support Services reception centre over its 40 continuous days of operations.
More than 6,000 hours were put in to register nearly 3,000 evacuees from numerous jurisdictions and provide them with more than 10,000 referrals to commercial suppliers.
“Citizens rallied together during this emergency and gave generously of their time, compassion and personal skills, to work in the reception centre and provide ESS to evacuees from neighbouring communities,” Cumming said. “We all benefit when the community comes together and look after one another during disasters. I could not be prouder.”
Dignitaries from the city, Regional District of North Okanagan, Township of Spallumcheen and Thompson-Nicola Regional District were in attendance to acknowledge the volunteers and work they put in at the Dogwood Gym ESS centre.
“Emergency Support Services is called the heart of emergency response,” Vernon Fire Rescue Services Chief David Lind said.
“The work is delivered with compassion and empathy, primarily by civic-minded volunteers who come forward to help their neighbours in a time of need.”
Volunteers from the Canadian Red Cross, SPCA, Salvation Army and other non-government organizations were also recognized for their efforts in supporting those most affected by the White Rock Lake wildfire.