Stories from Inside the Smoke – Mounties take on Canada Post mail duties during wildfire crisis

Bella Coola, BC – A few RCMP police officers harkened back to the roots of the Force, as they helped get much needed mail and packages to two communities cut off from the rest of the province for several days.

As far back as 1890, North-West Mounted Police Officers used to go on long treks via dog sleds, to check on outlying posts and deliver the Royal mail. Jump ahead to July 26, 2017, and four Mounties were delivering mail again, but not by dog sled.

In late July Bella Coola and Hagensborg were totally cut off from the rest of the Province, as wildfires shut down the only access in and out of those communities for several days. A small Cessna plane load of Canada Post mail was delivered to the tiny Bella Coola airport and four Mounties policing the Bella Coola Detachment were called in to assist with its delivery. In all the plane was estimated to be carrying about 2,000 pounds of mail.

Cst. Erich Schmidt was deployed to the BC Wildfires from the Ridge Meadows RCMP Detachment.

“The truck bed, back seats and front passenger seat of my police pickup was loaded to the max, with pieces of mail which I personally delivered to the Bella Coola post office. A second fully loaded police pickup truck delivered parcels to the post office in Hagensborg,” says Cst. Schmidt.

“The parcels and mail were believed to include personal mail, financial assistance cheques for locals, many much needed parcels for local businesses and gifts, including presents that one of the RCMP officers posted to Bella Coola Detachment ordered for his daughter’s birthday,” says Cst. Rob Gardner, a media relations officer from Vancouver Island, also assisting with the BC Wildfire efforts.

Photo by RCMP
Photo by RCMP


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