Penticton Fire Chief Larry Watkinson, along with disaster recovery dog Sammy, has joined a team of Burnaby firefighters to be boots on the ground help for communities in the Bahamas ravaged by Hurricane Dorian.
Penticton’s Deputy Fire Chief Chris Forster said Watkinson sent the department an update that he arrived on Sunday and they will be put straight to work for the next few days.
“He is part of the Burnaby team from his time when he was the Fire Chief in Mission. He continued to be part of that team when he joined the Penticton department, so when a deployment comes up he goes,” said Forster. “It is one of his passions to help others and that extends into his professional life here so when something comes up he goes.”
Finally! We made it, just getting organized, then heading to the base camp. pic.twitter.com/5mZwdOA0DX— Penticton Fire Dept. (@pentictonfire) September 8, 2019
The hurricane that caused massive destruction on the Virgin Islands, Bahamas and North Carolina, hit eastern Canada on Sunday. Watkinson will deployed to the Bahamas for one week.
Forster said the fire chief was last deployed internationally in 2015 after a 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal, killing over 9,000 people.
“We are are really proud of him and the work he does,” said Forster.
Dorian, so far, has caused the most destruction in the Bahamas. According to the Associated Press, when Dorian struck the Bahamas last week it was as a Category 5 hurricane with 295 kilometre per hour winds and obliterated thousands of homes.
The government said at least 43 people have died due to the storm and is believed to have caused five deaths in the U.S. Southeast and one in Puerto Rico.
#usar team flying from Nassau to Marsh Harbour today to begin search, rescue and recovery efforts. Great support from #USCoastGuard #NEMA and personal contacts. @IAFF323 @CityofBurnaby @pentictonfire @MayorofBurnaby— Burnaby Fire (@BurnabyFireDept) September 9, 2019
Be safe #proudCanadian pic.twitter.com/64kkYnNpNa
#usar team landed safely at Marsh Harbour met by #BritishSpecialForces who are taking them to a secure #NEMA contact and then to the #EOC— Burnaby Fire (@BurnabyFireDept) September 9, 2019
Devastation everywhere but our team is doing well. @IAFF323 @CityofBurnaby @pentictonfire @MayorofBurnaby pic.twitter.com/kAbjwPyJpp
More on this to come.
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