Ever wondered what to do in an emergency situation? Cortes Island’s Emergency Preparedness and Awareness Fair was an excellent venue to ask the experts. At the BC Hydro booth, I asked, Hannah Wilson and Katherine Macdonald, “What should you do when encountering downed power lines?”
Though the population doubles or triples during the summer months, there are less than a thousand people on Cortes throughout the year. The RCMP come from off island, but we have a medical clinic, ambulance and a relatively large volunteer fire department (with firehalls at Mansons Landing and Whaletown). So, at the Cortes Island Preparedness and Awareness weekend, I asked the local Fire Chief how often does Cortes Island need emergency services?
Over 100,000 people died, when the earthquake struck Haiti in 2010. A very good friend of Captain Ray Thackeray’s was among them. She had been working in Port-au-Prince, when her hotel collapsed around her. Several days passed before help reached the stricken island. This became a defining moment for Thackeray. Having been a ham radio operator since his youth in England, Thackeray had seen volunteers pitch in when there were emergencies. He found himself thinking, What if a marine based organization had mobilized boaters already in the area? What if 10,000 small vessels had started bringing food, water and medicine on day one? They might have saved hundreds of lives. This led to the founding of the International Rescue Group (IRG). Continue reading Making of the International Rescue Group→