The rewards of finally having a rescue boat on the Shuswap have proven greater than Kathy Crandlemire could have imagined.
As if the successful inaugural summer season for crew and supporters of the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Shuswap Station #106 rescue boat wasn’t already a great achievement for Sicamous’ BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) unit chief, Crandlemire was recently honoured by the ambulance service with a provincial Chief Operating Officer Commendation Award.
The award, explains Crandlemire, was for promoting community partnerships and establishing a new emergency response plan for the BCAS in Sicamous. It was given to Crandlemire for all the work she has put in over the past decade to make the rescue boat a reality for the Shuswap, and the close relationship she and the ambulance service continue to have with other agencies responsible for operation of the vessel.
Crandlemire notes the province-wide award follows an Interior award of excellence she received from the BCAS for going beyond the call to help establish the partnerships and collaborating with other agencies to make the Shuswap rescue boat a reality.
“Kathy has been instrumental in developing the working relationship between Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue – Station #106 Shuswap and the BC Ambulance Service,” says Shuswap station leader Rob Sutherland. “She worked so hard over the last number of years to help justify having a rescue boat located on the Shuswap, all in the interest of the patient.”
Sutherland says Crandlemire has worked closely with the Sicamous-based Shuswap Station, helping to develop working relationships, training standards and callout procedures. And with her high degree of skill and knowledge, he adds, Crandlemire has instilled confidence in BCAS and Shuswap Station volunteers involved in this new venture to provide professional care, as seen during the 40-plus rescued over this past season on the Shuswap.
Sutherland and the Shuswap Station crew themselves were recently recognized with an award from the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (formerly the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary) for a “stellar first year of operation,” as the “busiest station in the region.”
“It’s just such a nice feather in the cap that Rob received an award as well, because it has been such a successful venture,” says Crandlemire. “I mean, the response of the boat this summer was outstanding, the crew… they just did an outstanding job and we worked so well with them. It was just such a great service this summer for patients on the lake.”