BC – Yesterday, RCMP officers from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island mustered at the Pacific Regional Training Centre (PRTC) in Chilliwack to deploy to wildfires.
As 60 personnel returned to their home districts today, another 76 RCMP members traveled to Kelowna and surrounding areas on August 23, providing relief to those officers already in working in the field. These officers travelled from the RCMP’s north, island and Lower Mainland districts. This is in addition to the over 100 officers deployed during the immediate response to the fires.
The logistics, coordinated by PRTC and the RCMP’s Division Emergency Operations Centre (DEOC) are well-entrenched after several years experience responding to wildfires, floods and other provincial emergencies.
Members, heavy with personal effects and police equipment, entered the drill hall at PRTC where they were greeted by an employee. The officers provided their personal details and were given a radio call sign. This call sign, unique to the officer, will follow them once they are in the fire zone. Each member is given a radio, then it’s off to the supply table where they pick up safety masks, a “go-kit” full of snacks, water and toiletries, which allows the officer to be self-sufficient while deployed.
These kits were kindly pulled together at a moment’s notice with the generosity of local businesses including the Chilliwack Walmart and London Drugs.
During a send off, Assistant Commissioner John Brewer, BC RCMP’s Acting Commanding Officer, thanked the members for their assistance and encouraged them to reach out if there’s anything they see while in the field that the RCMP could improve. “The goal here is your safety,” he said. “You’re doing a hard job and if you see anything out there that we could do better, bring it forward.” Assistant Commissioner Manny Mann and PRTC Superintendent Deborah Bourne also joined A/Commr. Brewer to speak with members prior to their departure to the fire zone.
PRTC is the primary training centre for the RCMP in BC and it has also hosted other law enforcement agencies, Canadian Forces and recently, international firefighters deployed in BC.
DEOC continues to liaise with emergency partners from across BC.
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