Harrison Happenings: Volunteering now and then

Local emergency social services has volunteers at its core

Just recently I finished putting together a manuscript for a souvenir book containing mostly humorous stories about a group of volunteers who, under the umbrella of the HHS Recreation Commission, brought fun, relaxation and honour to the village for more than twenty years. But it was then when I realized that I had not written about the HHS Recreation Commission’s involvement with the Emergency Social Services.

I remember the day when I received a phone call early in the morning to please come to the village office at lunchtime and meet a gentleman from the provincial government. When I arrived, the councillor who had called and the government representative were waiting for me. To make the story short, the implementation of a plan to deal with the social side (i.e. lodging, feeding, etc.) of any emergency that could befall a community, had become mandatory. In dispair, I am sure, the councillor called on me.

I agreed to look into it, a decision I did not make lightly. I knew that I had not only the Recreation Commission behind me but also the experience of having lived through a war with all its implications. But, I also knew that this was not enough and so I paid a visit to Pastor Orlando who was then the pastor of the HHS Gospel Church. He not only agreed to be the spiritual councillor in the event of an emergency, but also gave us permission to use the church’s meeting room and a designated stock room.

It was his and the church’s encouragement that put us on track and it was a very good example of true leadership. I really do not know if we would have succeeded without the help and encouragement of the HHS Gospel Church.

And so for five years volunteers, mostly drafted from the Recreation Commission, met there on a regular basis. And, with the help and education of the provincial government, we put a plan together for Harrison Hot Springs containing all the information needed in case of an emergency.

A plan, however, is only good if it is being revised on a regular basis and this has never been done as far as I know. Unfortunately, it seems to be more and more difficult to find enough volunteers to fill the need. And yet, volunteering for the Emergency Social Services is very fulfilling and interesting. After all, what we learn is of great value, not only for the general public but also for ourselves, our families and neighbours.

In last week’s issue of the Agassiz-Harrison-Hope Observer I spotted an ad looking for an ESS Coordinator for the Kent-Harrison joined program. I hope somebody will get inspired and I also hope that more volunteers will come forward to help with the task. I cannot think of a more worthy cause!

P.S.   Once again I would like to thank the editor, and her staff, for printing all my articles. It is great fun to be in touch with so many people this way and I am looking forward to do it again. For the next four weeks, however, I will be on a vacation – three of them in Germany.

I will tell you all about it when I come back!  Take care!

Just Posted

Lower Mainland could see spring flurries

Snow expected at higher elevations

Experts detect risk of rock avalanche above Bridal Falls near Chilliwack

Risk in the one-in-10,000-year is minimal but triggers FVRD to direct growth elsewhere

Auditors couldn’t tell if Fraser Health executives bought booze on taxpayers’ dime

Review from 2014 says one administrator bought Bose headphones on company credit card

Free parking not in the cards for Fraser Valley hospitals

Chair says board may look at ways to make parking easier, but not free

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

Canucks find scoring touch in 5-2 win over Blackhawks

Four Vancouver skaters have two points apiece in victory over Chicago

‘Not well thought out:’ Arizona family slams B.C. speculation tax

American family spends half the year in vacation home on Vancouver Island

Family of B.C. wildfire victim wants better emergency preparedness for vulnerable people

Williams Lake’s David Jeff “fell through the cracks”

Senate backs bill to legalize recreational marijuana

Justin Trudeau reminded senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize pot

Where Canadians buy real estate abroad: report

Hot Spots: Top 30 home-buying destinations for Canadians in the Americas

Ban on grizzly bear hunt, new rules take effect April 1

Taxidermists, tanners will have to report on any grizzly bears or parts brought to them

Ontario father grief stricken over murder of ex-wife and children

‘No words to explain,’ grieving father of slain teens says in statement

LISTEN: Retired broadcaster gives voice to Fraser Valley history

Heritage buff Mark Forsythe introduces Valley Voices, a podcast featuring local history.

Most Read