Pierre Groenenboom (left) receiving a plaque from Kent mayor Sylvia Pranger during council Monday, June 24. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Kent Harrison Emergency Support team honoured for work during 2017 wildfire season

The volunteer group was activated for 254 days in a row to help evacuees

On Monday (June 24), the Kent Harrison emergency services team was honoured for its hard work during the wildfire season of 2017, which saw the group providing support for evacuees coming into the area.

During Kent council Monday, mayor Sylvia Pranger presented Kent-Harrison Emergency Support Services coordinator Pierre Groenenboom with a plaque from Emergency Management B.C.

“Pierre I want to thank you and your team for what you have done to help the ESS team, and accept an award on their behalf,” Pranger said. “Keep up the good work, and I hope you don’t have as many calls this year.”

RELATED: B.C. to review 2017 flooding, wildfire seasons

The province was in a state of emergency from July 7 to Sept. 15, when hundreds of wildfires raged around the province. Thousands were evacuated from their homes, with many coming to the Lower Mainland from the Okanagan and northern B.C.

The ESS worked throughout the summer to provide support for the Chilliwack reception centre during the wildfire evacuations, including coordinating lodging and family reunification, as well as providing emotional support and first aid.

According to Groenenboom, the group was active for 254 days in a row from 2017 to 2018.

“Every one of those days we coordinated accommodations and helped evacuees,” he said. “This year we thankfully had about four tasks and 10 days of activation.

“But we’re still looking for volunteers, so if you know of anyone who wants to help us out, let us know.”


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