Kamloops residents organizing 'buddy system' to ensure no one left behind in emergencies | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops residents organizing 'buddy system' to ensure no one left behind in emergencies

The Juniper wildfire in Kamloops, Thursday, July 1, 2021.
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July 09, 2021 - 6:30 AM

The recent wildfire evacuations in Kamloops's Juniper Ridge neighbourhood has sparked the idea of establishing a community ‘buddy system’ to ensure everyone is safe in the event of another evacuation.

Some Juniper residents are concerned there may be neighbours in need of extra help evacuating due to mobility issues, disabilities or lack of transportation. The buddy system would identify residents with physical mobility or transportation limitations and neighbours would be assigned to ensure the vulnerable person is assisted in an emergency situation.

During the evacuations due to the East Kamloops fire on July 1, many residents relied on neighbours for transportation and many were alerted to approaching danger by a neighbour knocking on their door. The organizers want vulnerable neighbours to be identified so in the future, those neighbours will not be left behind.

The Juniper Ridge Community Association has been called upon to take action.

Community advocate Hettie Buck supports the idea and says it has been sent to the community association to be put on the agenda for future meetings. She says, in the meantime, residents can take more immediate action.

“Immediate action requires that we all develop our own close buddy neighbour plans for now,” Buck said. “I think developing a community contact sheet would be great, identifying those who require extra assistance in times of emergency. We should all be as proactive as possible when it comes to safety. Juniper is worth the effort.”

Madyson Cavaliere is the vice chair community association. She supports the idea of the buddy system and encourages Juniper residents who are versed in setting one up or interested in organizing one for the community to contact the association so they can put a plan into action.


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