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Fire in the Mountains: West Kelowna firefighters helping to break down barriers

Image Credit: Contributed
February 26, 2016 - 5:00 PM

WEST KELOWNA - West Kelowna Professional Firefighters Local 4457 will be breaking down barriers again in 2016 with their 3rd annual “Fire in the Mountains” trip for individuals with a disability.

“This years trip is unique in that we will be offering a multi-day paddling trip to world-famous Murtle Lake, the largest canoe-only lake in North America," firefighter Ryan Onyschuk says. “Set in the pristine mountain valley of Wells Gray Provincial Park, Murtle Lake will provide us the opportunity to take more than one lucky individual this year on a 4-5 day adventure of a life-time.”

"In the two previous years our union has provided a couple of lucky individuals the opportunity to spend three days with their firefighter heroes hiking the Rocky Mountains in Yoho National Park and traversing the ridge lines of Cathedral Provincial Park," Onyschuk says.

"Our firefighters step up in a huge way each year by both raising the money required to make the trips possible and providing the manpower and support personnel during the trips. We team up each year with CRIS Adaptive Adventures out of the Central Okanagan. CRIS Adaptive Adventures has been providing these types of excursion for individuals with disabilities for the past 15 years throughout Western Canada. They provide the expertise and guiding to make the trips possible and safe."

Last years recipient was Logan Miller an avid outdoor adventurer but due to a rare form of progressive neurodegenerative disorder his mobility depends on the use of a wheelchair which in turn greatly reduces his access to the wilderness.

“The union donation last year was truly a generous act that provided an unforgettable experience for Logan Miller and his dad. The firefighters’ donation of time and money helps people who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity, or means to experience such an outdoor adventure,” CRIS Adaptive Adventures board member Eric Rampone says. “These trips have a tremendous impact on a participant’s life, helping to improve mental and physical health, while breaking down social and physical barriers and promoting inclusion for all.”

“These experiences have a much greater impact than just the participant chosen. It changes lives and gives hope for many,” Debra Miller, Logan’s mother says.

“These trips are about giving people an opportunity that they otherwise wouldn’t have and providing an experience of a lifetime. You never fully realize the impact of these trips until you volunteer on one. It is an amazing feeling to see the smiles and laughs and how content someone can be out in the mountains and fresh air without concern for barriers," Captain Nathan Pike says.

“The work that CRIS Adaptive Adventures does to make sure these trips and experiences happen is extraordinary," Onyschuk says. "We encourage and challenge other businesses, organizations, and clubs to get involved with CRIS Adaptive Adventures and support more opportunities for people with disabilities.”

“We are excited about our 2016 trip location, Murtle Lake provides opportunities to paddle miles of uninhabited pristine shoreline, explore remote waterfalls, access alpine hiking trails only accessible by boat and sleep on peaceful beachfront camping spots,” he says.

To apply for the “Fire in the Mountains” trip with the West Kelowna Professional Firefighters, write a letter telling us about yourself and explaining why you would like to participate on this trip and what it would mean to you. Application have to be received by March 15, 2016 at the CRIS Adaptive Adventures office (PO Box #25141, Mission Park PO, Kelowna, B.C., V1W 3Y7)

For more information on how to apply, or to find out how to get involved in similar trips as a participant or sponsor visit www.adaptiveadventures.ca, phone 250-979-3941 or email general@coreinso.com.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

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