Stories from Inside the Smoke – “Tired” of Waiting

Williams Lake, BC – On July 15th, 2017 residents of Williams Lake and surrounding area were issued an Evacuation Order. Most residents packed up their vehicles, their families and pets and made their way, inch by inch away from their respective communities to safety. One Soda Creek resident, although wishing to leave, was unable to do so as she was without tires on her vehicle. New tires were on order, however they were a unique size and had to come from Alberta. They had arrived in Vancouver, but with the evacuation order in place no deliveries could get into the area.

RCMP Aboriginal Policing officers have continued to visit the indigenous communities, impacted by the BC Wildfires to bring supplies, check evacuated residences and ensure the safety of these towns. While on a visit to Soda Creek Reserve, Cst. Kelly Allan, who normally works in Lake Cowichan, heard of this woman’s plight and took matters into his own hands.

He contacted the woman’s niece in Vancouver and arranged to have the tires dropped off in Chilliwack at the RCMP’s Pacific Region Training Center. The tires were then loaded onto a bus, with a group of Mounties destined for the Cariboo Region.

The day they arrived, Cst. Allan picked the tires up in Williams Lake and drove them out to the woman in Soda Creek, only to discover there was a different issue. If the woman was able to get to Quesnel to get the tires installed on the rims, she wouldn’t be able to get back into the community because it was still subject of an evacuation order. Leaving her stuck, with tires but no car to install them on. Once again, Cst. Allan jumped up to the plate, and agreed to drive the tires to Quesnel where they could be mounted.

Photo of Cst. Allan installing tires.
Photo of Cst. Allan installing tires. (RCMP)

In Quesnel, the tire store owner mounted the tires free of charge, after hearing the woman’s story. Cst. Allen, stated, “I couldn’t believe it, we tried to pay but he insisted.” With the tires on board, Cst. Allan returned to Soda Creek and with the assistance Cst. Troy Derrick, installed the woman’s tires, allowing her the ability to evacuate.

Cst. Allan, was in humble in his response to why he had done, what he had done, “I joined the RCMP 22 years ago, because I wanted to help people, and that’s what I am doing, helping.”

Cst. Allan with the owner of Fountain Tire (RCMP)_
Cst. Allan with the owner of Fountain Tire (RCMP)

Aboriginal Policing Services
“E” Division Communication Services

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