CN helps out four communities affected by B.C. forest fires

by Canadian Shipper

CN yesterday announced the donation of money, equipment and emergency response training to fire departments in McClure, Barriere, Clearwater and Vavenby, four British Columbia communities on its transcontinental main line that were severely affected by recent forest fires.

In response to needs identified by local fire chiefs in meetings initiated by CN, the railway will make the following donations: McClure Fire Department – $50,000 to help purchase a newer fire truck; Barriere Fire Department – four freight containers to be used for fire training exercises, two laptop computers, two printers, and two hand-held GPS (Global Positioning System) units; Clearwater Fire Department – emergency response training course for firefighters; and Vavenby Fire Department – intercom/radio system to improve firefighting communications.

Eric Blokzyl, CN’s superintendent, B.C. Zone, was on the scene for six days during the height of the fires and worked very closely with local firefighters and emergency crews.

Blokzyl said: “Having seen first-hand the devastation caused by the fires and the toll they took on the people and firefighting equipment, we knew we had to do something. During the years these fire departments have worked closely with local CN crews.” Blokzyl added: “When you’ve been part of these communities for as long as we have, it seemed only right to help them when they needed it.”

CN employs more than 300 people in the area and more than 1,400 in British Columbia. CN has a tradition of supporting initiatives that help build safer, stronger communities where its employees live and work.

In August, CN also contributed $30,000 to the Canadian Red Cross BC Fires Response Fund.

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