Home away from home in Vancouver for first-responders

On May 20, paramedics and firefighters of the area gathered for the Tour of Honour’s first-ever stop in Vanderhoof.

On May 20

On May 20

Men and women in uniform of the Nechako region, along with thousands of others across the province, are reminded this season that they have a home away from home in Vancouver when travelling for medical care.

On May 20, paramedics and firefighters of the area gathered at the district’s fire hall for the Tour of Honour’s first-ever stop in Vanderhoof.

Organized by the Honour House Society, which provides support and accommodations to all members of emergency services seeking medical treatment in Vancouver, the tour kicked off in Victoria on April 28 and looks to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder and the mental health injuries that first-responders have a higher risk of developing.

David Scandrett, a Vancouver volunteer for the veteran support group Operational Stress Injury Support, presented on the Honour House at the event in Vanderhoof.

Scandrett, who retired from over 30 years of service in Canadian Forces, is a user of the Honour House, where veterans and their spouses meet twice a month for peer support.

“It’s not a hotel but a home,” he said. “So that veterans and first responders can rest without financial stress.”

Opened at the end of 2010, the house provides 10 furnished, wheelchair accessible apartments in an heritage building in New Westminster — with handmade quilts and laundry services on site.

Scandrett urged members of the fire department in particular to spread the word.

“Fire fighters tend to not ask for help and are used to helping others,” he said. “Tell your friends and take advantage of it.”

For the past two years, BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) staff — about 7,500 across the province — each contribute $20 of their salary to support the non-profit organization.

“With so much staff across B.C., where 4,500 paramedics are part-time, the facility meets the needs of our people,” said Colin Clyne, chief of Vanderhoof’s BCAS unit. “Vancouver is the main referral Centre for medical services.

“It speaks to looking after our membership at a different level.”

Current and retired members and immediate families of the Canadian military, police, fire fighters, paramedics, corrections officers, sheriffs, coast guard, search and rescue, border guards, and conservation officers are eligible to use the facility.

“Suffering from any form of serious illness or critical incident is a very stressful event in anyone’s life,” said Al DeGenova, president of Honour House Society. “Consider a person whose day-to-day job involves some of the most tense and stressful situations imaginable and then include this kind of personal event for them or a member of their family.

“Providing a free, safe, comfortable and relaxing home away from home for some of our bravest Canadians is the very least that we can do.”

Vanderhoof is one of 38 communities that the tour visits over 10 weeks this season.

Just Posted

The Binche Fishing Derby at Stuart Lake is fast approaching. (Binche Fishing Derby Facebook photo)
Binche shares excitement for upcoming fishing derby

“It’s more than just fishing,” says Dave Birdi

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Local youth vaccination clinics underway

Pfizer vaccine will be used

Priya Sharma. (Submitted)
Column: Why ultimatums don’t work

By Priya Sharma It is a common misconception that people can choose… Continue reading

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

Most Read