FRONT LINE APRIL 21, 2020
Tributes to the people supporting our communities during the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic Look inside for the Canada Heart Flag
2 | On the Front Line | Times Colonist
The Hospital Front Line needs your help
ICU TEAM AT RJH IN PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE), DR AHMAD IN THE MIDDLE.
Our heartfelt thanks for the tremendous job all hard working essential service personnel, from the highest to the lowest, are doing. But in this time of unbelievable hardship there is no ‘high or low’ because you are all on equal footing keeping us safe. We are available Monday to Saturday 11am till 5pm. We are offering curbside pickup in addition to free local delivery and shipping. For all that you do, your service & compassion do not go unnoticed. We so very much appreciate you!
To prevent the spread of the virus we have closed our retail location on Government Street until further notice.
WHAT WE’RE DOING TO HELP KEEP YOU U HEALTHY Y
We are here to take your order over the phone or order online at newbalancevictoria.ca
Owners and staff at Helmcken Market are heroic and inspirational
Thank you for your understanding and continued support over the past 17 years.
MAINTAINING YOUR HEALTH & FITNESS is one way to help bolster your immune system and minimize stress. Going for a run or a brisk walk is a great way to help. - ROB REID, Local Owner
New Balance Victoria 1205 Government Street (Corner of View Street)
The Victoria Hospitals Foundation announced a commitment of $7 million for priority critical care needs at Royal Jubilee Hospital (RJH). An immediate $1 million will fund equipment needed to outfit an interim High Acuity Unit (HAU) for critical care at RJH in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Another $6 million will support the construction of a new permanent HAU at RJH, the first of its kind on Vancouver Island. “Today we are facing unprecedented times. All members of the Island Health family are responding with energy, commitment and compassion for those we are privileged to serve,” shared Leah Hollins, Board Chair, Island Health.” Royal Jubilee Hospital, one of the two designated primary sites for COVID-19 patients on Vancouver Island, will be the beneficiary of the funding. While Provincial and Federal governments continue to fund COVID-19 expenses, the support of the community through the Victoria Hospitals Foundation allows other critical equipment to be in place more quickly. Forty per cent of equipment at Royal Jubilee and Victoria General hospitals is funded by donors. Contributions can be made online at: www. victoriahf.ca/critical, mailing a cheque, through gifts of securities, or calling: 250-519-1750.
Tel 250 382 9327 Toll-Free 1 877 882 9327 newbalancevictoria.ca
Time has run out: April 16 was the date that the store closed because of staff shortages.
This follows weeks of daily service to the community: no toilet paper or hand cream or other essentials? You could find all of these at The Helmcken Market – you being the neighbours, hospital workers and Canada Post customers from the Highlands to Central Saanich. Coincidentally, the Raeside cartoon was so very apt, of running a small family business, but
by keeping a smile on their faces and a positive perspective, despite the obstacles. They are deserving of being acknowledged as being heroic and inspirational. They will be missed, but after 30 years of doing business, we know they’ll be back, and the customers, too, if for no other reason than their sausage rolls. Sincerely, mebukwus (On behalf of the neighbours and larger community)
On the Front Line
APRIL 21, 2020 The Victoria Times Colonist CONTACT: 2621 Douglas Street, PETER BAILLIE, Advertising Director Victoria, B.C., Canada V8T 4M2 firstname.lastname@example.org PHONE: 250-382-2255 JENUS FRIESEN, Editor timescolonist.com email@example.com
ON THE COVER: THE INTENSIVE CARE UNIT TEAM AT THE ROYAL JUBILEE HOSPITAL IN VICTORIA, B.C., LED BY DR. OMAR AHMAD.
On the Front Line | April 21, 2020 | 3
Heroes holding Island families close
Amid all the suffering and anxiety caused by the coronavirus pandemic, heroes across the country are showing courage and resilience in the face of adversity by stepping up to help some of the most vulnerable members of our community: our children. Childrenâ€™s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island supports more than 40 community agencies who provide critical supports to Island families and help transform the lives of children and youth living with physical and mental health challenges. Throughout this time of crisis, many of our community partners have had to innovate and adapt their services to continue their support of Island families during this heightened time of need. Organizations like Foundry BC have embraced technology to fast-track a virtual platform that will ensure all young people across British Columbia have access to the mental health supports they need, when they need it. Through virtual counselling sessions, these heroes have found new ways to support Island kids during these extraordinary times. We have witnessed heroes like Jacqueline Neligan, Executive Director
of Ladysmith Family and Friends, help families find ways, not just to survive the pandemic, but to thrive in it. By transitioning their Mindfulness Matters program online, LaFF is helping to increase awareness of mindfulness in our families, to provide children with tools to help them focus, manage stress, regulate emotions and develop a positive outlook. Heroes like Susan Fox of Outreach Therapy are utilizing telehealth and digital resources to connect with rural and remote families who have limited access to health care in their home communities. This type of support is invaluable for families living with children who have complex care needs. And at Jeneece Place, our heroes on the front lines are working tirelessly to ensure that the doors to our home away from home remain open to Island families who require access to safe accommodations while their children receive essential health care treatment. It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child. Thank you to all our Island heroes who continue to hold our Island families close, today and every day. We truly are stronger together.
4 | On the Front Line | Times Colonist
Who is my hero, and why do they inspire me? My hero is my husband, Josh. He is a paramedic who works for BC Ambulance. Most paramedics rarely see themselves as heroes within the community. Josh always tells me after rehashing a story, “Well, I’m just doin’ my job.” Little does he know that when he helps 80-year-old Mrs. Doe get up off the floor, or helps that scared drunk college student who got too carried away, that they remember how calm, kind, and funny he was with them.
It’s those every day routine calls that make the difference in people’s lives. They always remember that kind man who helped them up the stairs, or that calming conversation he provided in their time of crisis. They get to know the people in the community and help make their lives just that much easier to handle. For that, I not only thank my husband, but all the paramedics in our communities. – Erin Rizko, Nanaimo, B.C.
We’re in this together Keeping vital goods and services moving to coastal communities We are proud of the work our dedicated employees continue to provide. Everyone at BC Ferries is committed to continuing to safely transport critical supplies to coastal communities. Thank you to all health care, transportation and essential service workers who work hard every day to keep us safe.
On the Front Line | April 21, 2020 | 5
My hero My hero is Jenn Mortimer. Jenn is the coordinator of the ‘Out of the Rain’ night shelter program for homeless street youths in Victoria. She is committed and passionate about looking after the welfare of those kids who have no home by coordinating shelter sites and food, as well as helping with medical issues and housing. She has a small staff and many volunteers who she treats with grace and compassion. When staff are sick and cannot supervise at the shelters, she takes on the job herself, often at the expense of her own health. Her heart is with these kids from morning to night and I think she’s a super woman! – Karyn Lehmann, St. John the Divine Anglican Church, “Out of the Rain” coordinator
My sister Shirley is my hero. My sister Shirley is a full-time geriatric nurse at a nursing home. She’s been there 36 years, and the only time she’s been off work was when she had her four children, and 12 years ago when she had cancer. Now she is in hospital with some terrible health issues. Not COVID, but very worrying. She’s always been so dedicated to her patients and her family. In November, she lost her husband but kept on working. Since the virus crisis, she was sometimes working double shifts because they were short staffed. She is the nicest person I know, and everyone loves and respects her. We pray she’ll be okay again. – R. Knogler, Victoria, B.C.
We are grateful to each and every First Responder and Essential Worker across the region making a difference to beat COVID-19…together.
6 | On the Front Line | Times Colonist
I will remember this as the ‘Time of Heroes’ My Heros Who are my heroes? The doctors, nurses, hospital custodians, paramedics, police, firefighters, delivery persons, postal workers, essential workers, newlyunemployed, business owners, persons staying home, people wearing masks, and on and on – are all my heroes. But my personal hero is my son, Zachary. He was raised in Nanaimo, went to UVic for five years, and followed that with one-year of volunteering at VGH, four years of medical school, a seven-year residency and two-year long fellowships to become a physician. Today,
DR. ZACHARY HICKMAN IS WORKING IN ONE OF THE HARDEST HIT HOSPITALS IN NEW YORK.
We can’t thank you enough The world has united to fight this pandemic. It’s been a long time since something like COVID-19 impacted our global community. Across the globe, everyone’s lives have been changed or severely impacted. Canadians have banded together, showing solidarity in shouting kudos to essential workers. One cannot drive through Victoria without smiling at the support front line workers are experiencing. Banners, signs in windows, signs in road medians, all point to essential workers as the heroes of our community. The onset of COVID-19 made a huge impact on
Senior Care Victoria Aging Place Caringinfor YouSpecialists at Home
Victoria’s PremiumCOVID-19 Home Care WE AREChoice OPENforDURING ✓ Home Support ✓ Hourly, Overnight, & Live In ✓ Consistent Caregivers ✓ Appointment Transportation ✓ Medication Administration ✓ Best Fit Approach
SeniorCareVictoria.ca | 250.382.2328
he is the Director of Neurosurgery at Elmhurst Hospital – one of the hardest-hit hospitals in New York City’s struggle against COVID-19. Some weeks ago, he put down his surgical instruments to work in the critical care units, including the ICU of the hospital. He is risking his and his family’s health to help the most severely sick COVID-19 patients. So, yeah. He is my personal hero! When this global crisis is finally over, some will remember it as the Time of the COVID-19 virus. I will remember it as the Time of Heroes. – Lawrence Hickman, Victoria
When news of COVID-19 first started to circulate in North America in early January, no one could have foreseen the impact it would have on us as a global community.
small business, restaurants, retail industry and service and care providers. Many workers have been laid off due to shortage of hours, are caring for children, or are at health risk themselves for catching the virus. Senior Care Victoria care providers are risking their own health to ensure seniors are being seen in their homes. We have a solid, caring and responsive tight group of care workers that we cannot thank enough for taking the torch and continuing their work. One caregiver said, “my clients really depend on the care I give them,” and another, “I’m very careful seeing my senior, as I want to ensure he get’s the best care, and ongoing care.” Senior Care Victoria works closely with each worker to ensure they are practising safe hygiene at all times. This week, we reached out personally to everyone working with their senior to ensure they were willing to take the risk. We checked on their needs and how we could support them better. Unanimously, everyone agreed – more masks, gloves and sanitizer. They are
We honour and thank our nurses, doctors and all other health care workers for their tireless and selfless determination to keep us healthy. Your service will forever be remembered. Your compassion will not be forgotten. You are true heroes. -Allan McLaren
putting themselves at risk to perform the instrumental tasks of daily living our seniors require due to the fact that there are no family members or close friends to provide this service for them. There is no doubt that caregivers in the community are a great asset during these times. Senior Care Victoria sends kudos to care workers everywhere – in care homes, hospitals and in private homes. Kudos to all those working with the public. For those of us self isolating or working from home, we realize the commitment front line workers deliver to ensure essential services are provided. Today, we are reaching out to the community, to ask anyone with connections to supply chains for purchase of masks, gloves and sanitizer to contact us at: 250-4192328. As an essential service, we struggle to continually meet the demands and needs for masks, gloves and sanitizer. Thank you all Front Line Workers!
Kindness + support of strangers “In the midst of this challenging time I have been inspired by many signs and sounds of support and countless acts of kindness. I am also thankful that our community has expressed its collective conscience in such a generous way by providing resources to the Rapid Relief Fund. Many thanks to everyone for taking action and making a difference in the lives of those in need.” -Allan McLaren, McLaren Properties
On the Front Line | April 21, 2020 | 7
Young doctor working on Ottawa’s intensive care front line My son’s name is Ross Prager. He is an internal medicine resident physician entering his third year of residency in Ottawa, and has been working in the Intensive Care Units for the past few months. He is 27 years old and has a fascinating and demanding career ahead of him in medicine. He is smart and compassionate. Like all physicians at this stage in their careers, he works very long hours and spends extra time researching aspects
of medicine he is unfamiliar with, performing research and studying for upcoming examinations. On a daily basis, across the country, front-line nurses, paramedics, facility services, respiratory therapists, resident physicians and physicians are exposed to the COVID-19. Already a couple of his medical colleagues have become sick. The ICU team relies on each other to adhere to strict protocols to help each other remain
safe as they perform their duties. As a parent, I worry that he keeps safe and that he will be here for future family visits, which are infrequent at this time in his life. If he catches COVID-19, we hope that he will be strong enough to recover quickly. Along with all healthcare providers, front line workers and emergency services who are working to keep the rest of us safe, he is my hero. – Karen Prager, Victoria, B.C.
I am responding to the notice in your newspaper regarding those who are working on the Front Lines of Health Care and the many other persons providing for us during this unprecedented time of pandemic.
Dr. Staples and Livingstone available for dental emergencies
Dr. Rachel Staples, of Urban Smiles Dentistry, was confined to her home after attending the Dental Conference in Vancouver in early March. While confined, she used her time to order respirators, Plexiglas facial shields, booties. She had gowns and caps sewn up locally so she didn’t have to rely on disposable gowns and caps. She met all the requirements of the College of Dental Surgeons and the B.C. Health Authority
DR. ROSS PRAGER - ON OTTAWA’S INTENSIVE CARE FRONT LINE.
so she could open her office to be available for patients of Victoria and vicinity with dental emergencies. The need is there and has kept Dr. Staples and her associate Dr. Brett Livingstone, their assistants and office manager busy since opening. In my mind, both doctors and staff are dedicated heroes. There are so many front line workers who are risking their lives and those of their families to ensure that our population remains as healthy as they can be amidst this unforeseen pandemic. Thank you for this opportunity to say how grateful I am to all who are giving so much for the benefit of others. – Carol-Ann Staples (yes, her mother!)
Caring and sharing on the front line Every Saturday, the members of Harbourview Church in Esquimalt, in collaboration with Living Edge, very generously host a free community market in the parking lot of Esquimalt Neighbourhood House.
They have recently adjusted the operation of the market in order to safely continue to provide this valuable service to members of the community, knowing that now, more than ever, community members are in need of support.
Last Saturday, one of the final customers at the market asked the volunteers if they knew of anywhere she could get a shower. With all public buildings closed, she has been unable to shower. One of the
volunteers gave this woman her address and phone number, and invited her to her home for a shower. These are some of the many front line heroes in our community. Warm regards, Jan Henry
8 | On the Front Line | Times Colonist
BC AMBULANCE SERVICE • BC CONSERVATION OFFICER SERVICE • BC TRANSIT • CANADIAN FORCES BASE FIRE & POLICE • CENTRAL SAANICH FIRE & POLICE • CREST.CA COLWOOD BYLAW ENFORCEMENT & FIRE • CAPITAL REGIONAL DISTRICT HAZMAT TEAM • SALT SPRING ISLAND ELECTORAL AREA FIRE: PIERS ISLAND, PENDER ISLAND, SATURNA ISLAND, MAYNE ISLAND, GALIANO ISLAND NORTH, GALIANO ISLAND SOUTH • SOUTHERN GULF ISLAND EMERGENCY PROGRAM FIRE: OTTER POINT, WILLIS POINT, EAST SOOKE, SHIRLEY • EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT BC (PEP) • ESQUIMALT FIRE • GREATER VICTORIA POLICE • VICTIM SERVICES • HIGHLANDS FIRE • ISLAND HEALTH • LANGFORD BYLAW ENFORCEMENT & FIRE, METCHOSIN FIRE • NORTH SAANICH FIRE • OAK BAY FIRE & POLICE • PARKS CANADA • PORT RENFREW FIRE • RCMP • SAANICH FIRE & POLICE • SIDNEY FIRE • SONGHEES NATION • SOOKE BYLAW ENFORCEMENT & FIRE • ST. JOHN AMBULANCE • UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA BYLAW ENFORCEMENT, FIRE & POLICE • VICTORIA AIRPORT AUTHORITY FIRE & SECURITY • VIEW ROYAL FIRE • BC AMBULANCE SERVICE • BC CONSERVATION OFFICER SERVICE • BC TRANSIT • CANADIAN FORCES BASE FIRE & POLICE • CENTRAL SAANICH FIRE & POLICE • COLWOOD BYLAW ENFORCEMENT & FIRE • CAPITAL REGIONAL DISTRICT HAZMAT TEAM • SALT SPRING ISLAND ELECTORAL AREA FIRE: PIERS ISLAND, PENDER ISLAND, SATURNA ISLAND, MAYNE ISLAND, GALIANO ISLAND NORTH, GALIANO ISLAND SOUTH • SOUTHERN GULF ISLAND EMERGENCY PROGRAM FIRE: OTTER POINT, WILLIS POINT, EAST SOOKE, SHIRLEY • EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT BC (PEP) • ESQUIMALT FIRE • GREATER VICTORIA POLICE • VICTIM SERVICES • HIGHLANDS FIRE • ISLAND HEALTH • LANGFORD BYLAW ENFORCEMENT & FIRE, METCHOSIN FIRE • NORTH SAANICH FIRE • OAK BAY FIRE & POLICE • PARKS ARKS CANADA • PORT RENFREW FIRE • RCMP • SAANICH FIRE & POLICE • SIDNEY DNEY FIRE • SONGHEES NATION • SOOKE BYLAW ENFORCEMENT & FIRE • ST. S JOHN HN AMBULANCE • UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA BYLAW ENFORCEMENT, FIRE & POLICE LICE • VICTORIA AIRPORT AUTHORITY FIRE & SECURITY • VIEW ROYAL FIRE • BC AMBULANCE SERVICE • BC CONSERVATION OFFICER SERVICE • BC TRANSIT • CANADIAN NADIAN FORCES BASE FIRE & POLICE • CENTRAL SAANICH FIRE & POLICE • COLWOOD DISTRICT LWOOD BYLAW ENFORCEMENT & FIRE • CAPITAL REGIONAL DISTRIC HAZMAT ZMAT TEAM • SALT SPRING ISLAND ELECTORAL AREA FIRE: PIERS ISLAND, ISLAN PENDER NDER ISLAND, SATURNA ISLAND, MAYNE ISLAND, GALIANO ISLAND NORTH, NORT GALIANO LIANO ISLAND SOUTH • SOUTHERN GULF ISLAND EMERGENCY PROGRAM PROGRA FIRE: MANRE: OTTER POINT, WILLIS POINT, EAST SOOKE, SHIRLEY • EMERGENCY MA AGEMENT VICTIM EMENT BC (PEP) • ESQUIMALT FIRE • GREATER VICTORIA POLICE • VICT SERVICES RVICES • HIGHLANDS FIRE • ISLAND HEALTH • LANGFORD BYLAW ENFORCEENFORC MENT NT & FIRE, METCHOSIN FIRENORTH SAANICH FIRE • OAK BAY FIRE & POLICE • PARKS RKS CANADA • PORT RENFREW FIRE • RCMP • SAANICH FIRE & POLICE • SIDNEY DNEY FIRE • SONGHEES NATION • SOOKE BYLAW ENFORCEMENT & FIRE • ST. S JOHN HN AMBULANCE • UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA BYLAW ENFORCEMENT, FIRE & POLICE • VICTORIA AIRPORT AUTHORITY FIRE & SECURITY • VIEW ROYAL FIRE • BC AMBULANCE SERVICE • BC CONSERVATION OFFICER SERVICE • BC TRANSIT • CANADIAN FORCES BASE FIRE & POLICE • CENTRAL SAANICH FIRE & POLICE • COLWOOD BYLAW ENFORCEMENT & FIRE • CAPITAL REGIONAL DISTRICT HAZMAT TEAM • SALT SPRING ISLAND ELECTORAL AREA FIRE: PIERS ISLAND, PENDER ISLAND, SATURNA ISLAND, MAYNE ISLAND, GALIANO ISLAND NORTH, GALIANO ISLAND SOUTH • SOUTHERN GULF ISLAND EMERGENCY PROGRAM FIRE: OTTER POINT, WILLIS POINT, EAST SOOKE, SHIRLEY • EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT BC (PEP) • ESQUIMALT FIRE • GREATER VICTORIA POLICE • VICTIM SERVICES • HIGHLANDS FIRE • ISLAND HEALTH • LANGFORD BYLAW ENFORCEMENT & FIRE, METCHOSIN FIRE; NORTH SAANICH FIRE • OAK BAY FIRE & POLICE • PARKS CANADA • PORT RENFREW FIRE; RCMP • SAANICH FIRE & POLICE • SIDNEY FIRE • SONGHEES NATION • SOOKE BYLAW ENFORCEMENT & FIRE • ST. JOHN AMBULANCE • UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA BYLAW ENFORCEMENT, FIRE & POLICE • VICTORIA AIRPORT AUTHORITY FIRE & SECURITY • VIEW ROYAL FIRE • BC AMBULANCE SERVICE • BC CONSERVATION OFFICER SERVICE • BC TRANSIT • CANADIAN FORCES BASE FIRE & POLICE • CENTRAL SAANICH FIRE & POLICE • COLWOOD BYLAW ENFORCEMENT & FIRE • CAPITAL REGIONAL DISTRICT HAZMAT TEAM • SALT SPRING ISLAND ELECTORAL AREA FIRE: PIERS ISLAND, PENDER ISLAND, SATURNA ISLAND, MAYNE ISLAND, GALIANO ISLAND NORTH, GALIANO ISLAND SOUTH • SOUTHERN GULF ISLAND EMERGENCY PROGRAM FIRE: OTTER POINT, WILLIS POINT, EAST SOOKE, SHIRLEY • EMERGENCY MANAs our region’s emergency providers AGEMENT BC (PEP) • ESQUIMALT FIRE communications • GREATER VICTORIA POLICE • VICTIM SERVICES • HIGHLANDS FIRE • ISLAND HEALTH • LANGFORD BYLAW ENFORCEserving over 50 police, ﬁre, ambulance and public MENT & FIRE, METCHOSIN FIRE • NORTH SAANICH FIRE • OAK BAY FIRE & POLICE service agencies, we know only too well the risks • PARKS CANADA • PORT RENFREW FIRE • RCMP • SAANICH FIREthat & POLICE • SIDNEY FIRE • SONGHEES NATION • SOOKE BYLAW ENFORCEMENT & FIRE • ST. our essential service employees, ﬁrst responders and JOHN AMBULANCE • UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA BYLAW ENFORCEMENT, FIRE & POLICEhealth • VICTORIA AUTHORITY FIRE & SECURITY • VIEW careAIRPORT workers are taking for the good of usROYAL all. FIRE • BC AMBULANCE SERVICE • BC CONSERVATION OFFICER SERVICE • BC TRANSIT • CANADIAN FORCES BASE FIRE & POLICE • CENTRAL SAANICH FIRE & POLICE • COLWOOD BYLAW ENFORCEMENT & FIRE • CAPITAL REGIONAL DISTRICT Thank forSPRING your commitment and AREA courage HAZMAT TEAMyou • SALT ISLAND ELECTORAL FIRE:during PIERS ISLAND, PENDER ISLAND, SATURNA ISLAND, MAYNE ISLAND, GALIANO ISLAND NORTH, thisISLAND COVID-19 We areISLAND all so very grateful GALIANO SOUTHpandemic. • SOUTHERN GULF EMERGENCY PROGRAM FIRE: OTTER POINT, WILLIS POINT, EAST SOOKE, SHIRLEY • EMERGENCY MANandBC proud support you. AGEMENT (PEP) to • ESQUIMALT FIRE • GREATER VICTORIA POLICE • VICTIM SERVICES • HIGHLANDS FIRE • ISLAND HEALTH • LANGFORD BYLAW ENFORCE-
PUBLIC SAFETY GETS AN UPGRADE Over the next 12 months, CREST (Capital Region Emergency Service Telecommunications Inc.) will complete its P25 emergency communications system upgrade. This advanced technology will benefit users and the public. CREST provides emergency radio communications for 50 emergency response agencies in B.C.’s Capital Region. This includes fire departments, police departments and ambulance services. Over 7.5 million calls per year go through the system, or one call every four seconds. CREST’s emergency radio communication system is currently undergoing a $24.5 million upgrade in technology. The system will advance to a P25 Standard, which represents a suite of standards for digital radio communications used by federal, provincial/state and local emergency response agencies across North America. It is considered a world standard.Key Advantages The most distinct advantages of this upgrade in technology are improved reliability, increased capacity, superior
audio clarity, and better coverage. In an emergency response situation, lives depend on clear and accurate communications. With the migration of CREST’s P25 system from an analog to digital platform, audio clarity will be significantly improved. The P25 system upgrade means superior background noise suppression for users. Imagine the scene of an incident wherein fire, police and ambulance services are each responding. In these noisy environments, the need to call for additional back up, communicate between response agencies, or receive new dispatch information is very real. CREST’s P25 system upgrade is underway via a phased multi-year implementation plan. The CREST approach will allow the region’s primary emergency response agencies to use the same system, technology and world-class standard of communication. The approach allows for interoperability, reliability and efficiency of communications among responding agencies. CREST provides training to users of the P25 system and maintains the significant technology infrastructure of the system.
On the Front Line | April 21, 2020 | 13
Front line healthcare providers listen dutifully to your banging pots and pans at 7 p.m. Does clapping, singing or banging pots and pans at 7 o’clock make our front line professionals feel appreciated? Do they hear us? Dr. Gavin Jones’ wife, Marietjie, would say yes. “I was so touched by the expression on Gavin’s face when he heard the 7 p.m. applause after a difficult couple of weeks. I took the photo without him knowing, hoping that I captured that look on his face to show people that it mattered. He’s a very private person and was initially a bit frazzled finding that I posted a private moment on social media,” she shared. “But then people’s comments started pouring in and he was so touched. It was beautiful and humbling. Here we are far away from our families in South Africa and we lapped up the love Victorians poured out on us. We listen dutifully every evening. A beautiful noise indeed!” As for Dr. Jones, he’s more content to pass on the praise than keep it. “I’m thankful and proud to work alongside excellent healthcare providers,” says Jones. Adding his own message of gratitude, he adds “We are all extremely touched by the kindness and appreciation that has been shown to us by the people of Victoria.” So please know that when you show the front lines that you see them, they hear you. DR. GAVIN JONES IS WORKING ON THE FRONT LINE AS THE MEDICAL LEAD FOR THE ROYAL JUBILEE HOSPITAL EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT.
“Byron has done an exceptional job making his staff and customers feel safe in our store (Thrifty Foods, Port Place).” “Byron immediately hired staff to clean and sanitize our store from opening to close, and bought us walkie talkies to keep the communication going while on the floor.” “His efforts are one of the main reasons our store is safe and stocked and there to serve the community. A true leader and hero :)” Take care and stay safe, Kari
Thank you! To every first responder and essential service worker across Victoria...we are grateful for the difference you’re making to fight COVID-19. We willl get through this together.
Hearts in the Windows
Grocery store worker goes the second mile
BEING THANKFUL FOR ALL OUR FRONT LINE WORKERS AT EASTER AND ALWAYS!! LOOK FOR THE HEARTS IN THE WINDOWS EVERYWHERE YOU GO.
14 | On the Front Line | Times Colonist
We salute our Berwick frontline heroes We are reminded daily of the incredible team working tirelessly in our Berwick communities. The amazing feedback received from our residents and their families speak ƸżƸŊĪƫǀƠĪƣŏżƣƫĪƣǜŏĜĪ܉ĜÿƣĪÿŲģĜżŰƠÿƫƫŏżŲƸŊÿƸżǀƣƫƸÿǳłƠƣżǜŏģĪƫtżǝ܉ŰżƣĪƸŊÿŲĪǜĪƣ܉ ǝĪ¼NtfæÃłżƣƸŊĪŏŰƠżƣƸÿŲƸƣżŧĪǣżǀƠŧÿǣŏŲƸŊĪŃŧżěÿŧǿŃŊƸÿŃÿŏŲƫƸ żǜŏģڕڍ
CAMPBELL RIVER | COMOX | KAMLOOPS | NANAIMO | QUALICUM BEACH VICTORIA: GORDON HEAD & ROYAL OAK Proud to be BC Owned and Operated
On the Front Line | April 21, 2020 | 15
Keeping people employed in a safe environment during this difficult time. EMILY PRAGER HAS BECOME A POINT PERSON FOR COVID-19 FOR THE MINE.
In the time of COVID-19, my daughter, Emily Prager is a hero. She is working to keep a potash mine in Saskatchewan, with approximately 500 employees, up and running. Potash mines provide fertilizer for food production and are considered by the Canadian government to be an essential industry. She has a Master’s degree in Science in Industrial/Occupational Hygiene, and calls herself “the science nerd of worker health and safety”. She works with a variety of groups at the mine including construction, operations, maintenance, management, etc. to create programs and policies concerning workplace health and safety. She measures chemical exposures and physical exposures such as noise and vibration, and creates programs for protecting worker health, such as respiratory protection, hearing conservation and ergonomics. She has become a point person for COVID-19 for the mine. She receives requests for direction regarding pandemic policies to keep the mine operating safely. Issues like shift/break staggering, enhanced hygiene measures, cleaning contracts, procurement of required PPE, contingency planning, signage, audits, effective controls, etc. As things unfold, new issues continue to be addressed and
decisions have to be made. She acts as the industrial hygiene liaison to regularly connect with the other mining companies in Saskatchewan, sharing best practices and strategies to adapt to working safety in these industries during the pandemic. Industrial/occupational hygiene is not a commonly understood profession, and ever since graduating, she is regularly asked what it is exactly that she does. She jokes that people assume she cleans teeth (no, that’s a dental hygienist) or tells workers how to wash and shower properly (not this either). She laughs now and says she can appreciate the irony in that after spending so many years telling people, no, her job is not to tell workers to wash their hands, now during COVID-19 she communicates this to workers almost daily! Emily has had to rapidly expand her knowledge around COVID-19 and stay up to date with the most current scientific based guidelines from governments and health organizations, all in the effort to keep people employed in a safe environment during this difficult time. She has risen to the challenge and her hard work makes it possible for others to do their jobs feeling confident and safe. My hero. – Karen Prager, Victoria, B.C.
Thank you for keeping us all fed and stocked up on goods and TP! Grocery shopping has become a real challenge for many Victoria residents who, for various reasons, cannot go into grocery stores, or do any shopping actually, for fear of coming into contact with the COVID-19 virus. Stephanie is the manager of Westshore’s Great Canadian Superstore, and Tyler is an employee there. Stephanie had nothing but praise for Tyler’s commitment to his job. Since the pandemic, these two, alongside a cohort of about 40 other employees, have worked eight hour days, six days a week. Their responsibility is to take customers’ online orders and fastidiously fill their shopping baskets for them. This essential service is performed at the store around the clock, literally 24-hours a day! In this
location alone, Superstore fills at least 1500 custom grocery orders each week. My grocery order was wheeled out and loaded into my popped car trunk. From a social distance, I had a chance to meet Tyler and Stephanie, and to thank them personally for filling my shopping order. Heartfelt thanks to each and every member of the team at Superstore, they deserve a humongous serving of gratitude for providing this essential service. I know many shops and stores throughout the region offer similar shopping assistance. Hats off to you all! Thank you for keeping us all fed and stocked up on goods and TP while we all try to flatten the curve. – Jenus Friesen, Victoria, BC
STEPHANIE AND TYLER ARE HELPING PEOPLE EVERY DAY TO FILL THEIR GROCERY SHOPPING ORDERS AT WESTSHORE’S SUPER STORE.
16 | On the Front Line | Times Colonist
The Victoria Foundation and the Rapid Relief Fund salutes our front-line workers. People from all over the region have donated to the Rapid Relief Fund, raising millions of dollars to provide much-needed support to local agencies providing services to vulnerable populations whose staff, volunteers, programs, and operations have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Many donors have included thoughtful notes recognizing and honouring the front-line workers who make this support possible. “In honour of first responders, health care professionals and essential service providers.”
“I am sharing in recognition of the front-line workers, our provincial and federal leaders and to show my gratitude for the blessings I enjoy in my beloved Canada.”
“I am so thankful to the angels & heroes - nurses, doctors, firemen, policemen (& women!), EMT's, grocery & pharmacy clerks, delivery services, & more!”
“In gratitude for all front line workers staying on the job for us.”
“Our giving is to honour our front line workers, not only medical, emergency and essential workers that we acknowledge every day, but our postperson, our TC delivery guys...” “ Thank you to all the foundations, charities and volunteers giving practical help to those less fortunate than me.” “We're both seniors (86 and 91) self- isolating at home. Giving to the Rapid Relief fund is our best way to help! Sincere thanks to all the hard working, front-line workers. We especially appreciate the delivery of groceries and medications.”
Add your support by donating at RapidReliefFund.ca
“We are blessed to live in Victoria and at this time we can turn our attention to thanking our health care workers, police and first responders...”
“We would like to thank all of the people in the social services who are working hard to keep the underprivileged healthy and safe.”
“In Honour of Health Care workers and all those continuing to work for our community.”
“In support of nurses, physicians and allied health care workers during the Covid 19 pandemic.”
On the Front Line | April 21, 2020 | 17
OUR DOORS MAY BE CLOSED
BUT OUR HEARTS ARE OPEN We’re grateful to all the frontline workers who are taking care of our communities.
On the front lines - Jordan Cooper Ever since he was a teenager, Jordan Cooper has been working on the front lines of poverty, homelessness, addiction and the unpredictability of severe mental illness. With no other place to go, the people who huddle on the sidewalks and boulevards in front of Our Place on Pandora can be easy to dismiss as beyond our caring, beyond our compassion. Too often, the public places labels: addict, drunk, thief, lazy, dangerous. But to Jordan, they’re family. He has worked, laughed, cried, fed, even bathed many of them for over a decade. He has also attended far too many memorial services because, sadly, that is life on the street: volatile, dangerous, stressful and ultimately, short. Starting out by helping his dad at the Open Door, Jordan quickly discovered his calling. His intrinsic empathy and natural leadership quickly saw him work his way up the ranks to Outreach Manager at Our Place. And in this time of pandemic, leadership is badly needed as this health crisis is like nothing we’ve ever seen before. “Normally at times of crisis, we rally together,” says Jordan. “But we have to step carefully now. We need to keep both the street family and our staff safe, which means following all new protocols while still being a resource that people can rely upon.” To that end, Jordan and his staff have
been delivering over 1,000 meals per day from the Our Place kitchen to the street family outside. The team is also doing constant check-ins on people’s health, both physically and mentally. A boon has been the hiring of Paramedic/Outreach workers who are able to treat the families immediate needs (wound care, etc.) while assessing if they have COVID-19 symptoms and/or need to visit the hospital. Jordan’s smile widened over the weekend when Our Place, with the assistance of City of Victoria staff, was able to reopen its showers. “Over 100 people had a long, hot shower for the first time in weeks,” he says. “And we were as relieved as them because this is what we do, we provide hope, safety, nourishment and hygiene. It’s in our DNA.” Slàinte mhòr agad! – Grant McKenzie P.S. The well-being of vulnerable people who come to Our Place every day for essential services is our deepest concern. Hundreds are at risk of being hardest hit by illnesses. Your support to bolster our daily food, shelter and emergency supplies in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic is needed now more than ever. Online donations can be made at: www.ourplacesociety.com Donate or call the donor hotline at: 250-940-5060. Thank you for your compassion and concern.
Frontline outreach workers at Our Place thank the following for supporting people in need. “A different world cannot be built by indifferent people.”– Peter Marshall • • • • •
Rapid Relief Fund Contributors Times Colonist Victoria Foundation City of Victoria BC Housing
• • • •
Take-out Meal Sponsors – April 2020 May Gold Village Restaurant – 10 week sponsor $1000 Full Day Sponsors: Gale Ashelm, Erb Technical Contracting Ltd., Tower Fence Products, Pddy Stewart, Kirsty Thomson/Raymond James, Ron Sur, Canadian Tire, Upanup, Doddís Furniture, Urban Systems, Cart of Hearts, Margorie Seager, Camosun College Trades Faculty, Leon Judah Blackmore Foundation, Our Place Society Board of Directors, Knappett Project Inc., Christ Church Cathedral, Concert Properties, Innovative Communities Org. Fdn., Oaklands Bible Chaple.
Island Health Matching Challenge Seed Donors United Church of Canada Foundation The Our Place Caring Community of Individual Donors $600 Hot Meal Sponsors: Kellen Koo, Pacific Concrete Cutters, Veronica Osborn, Meeta Kurana, Aline Mortimer, Rob Tournour Masonry Ltd., Shell Victoria Stations, Silver Fern Stainless Ltd., Janet Gaunt, Sara Neely, Peter and Oana Grant.
www.ourplacesociety.com T: 250-940-5060
18 | On the Front Line | Times Colonist
Putting the welfare of others front and foremost I would like share my admiration for Tammy Carlow, a young woman who works full-time as a cleaner at Royal Jubilee Hospital (RJH).
“THE HOSPITAL CLEANERS ARE NOT OFTEN RECOGNIZED FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO OUR HEALTH, BUT THEY ARE A CRITICAL COMPONENT OF OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM AND THE RECOVERY OF PATIENTS.”
Tammy is a single mother of three kids, now aged 27, 22 and 18. Her priority has always been her children, and she struggled to balance that with a variety of jobs over the years until she was hired at RJH about four years ago. She worked in food services for awhile, then moved into being a cleaner. She has always been a conscientious mother and homemaker, and I know she carries a commitment to excellent hygiene and cleanliness into her job, which has all been enhanced by excellent training at RJH. She is committed to, and sincerely cares about, the well-being of others.
She works long shifts, risking her own health as she works diligently to clean and sanitize operating areas of the hospital. She returns home every day to continue her care and nurturing of her own family. I am sure she is the inspiration that resulted in her two daughters working in the field of healthcare and social services. I am so full of admiration for Tammy Carlow because she has worked so hard to get where she is, and I know any job she does is done with the welfare of others front and foremost. The hospital cleaners are not often recognized for their contribution to our health, but they are a critical component of our health care system and the recovery of patients. – Norma Strachan
Without our Carriers... We wouldn’t get anywhere!
Thank you to all of the workers who are doing their part to keep everyone safe. royalroads.ca
Our Carriers are the backbone of our business yet they are often overlooked.
Thank you Carriers from all of us at the Times Colonist!
On the Front Line | April 21, 2020 | 19
Victorians treasure bravery and commitment of front line workers “none of this would be possible without the dedication and selflessness of the people working on the ground to make it all happen.” With heart flags in windows and the sounds of cheering and clanging pots and pans bellowing from the balconies and open windows of Victoria each evening at 7 p.m., it’s clear Victorians treasure the bravery and commitment of their front line workers. These efforts mark visible and audible signs of appreciation to the nurses, doctors, police, firefighters, and others who continue to help to keep us healthy and safe during these uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among those leaving the comfort and security of their homes to provide essential services to our region are the employees and volunteers of many of our local charities. They may not wear uniforms, but they are out there every day providing support and care to our region’s most vulnerable residents.
From the James Bay New Horizons Society which is making sure seniors have the groceries and support they need, to the Victoria Women’s Transition House Society, helping women fleeing domestic violence through shelter and financial supports, to Need2, which supports youth struggling with mental health crises, these agencies are helping our neighbours in need during these tough times. “Victoria’s civil society sector is essential at the best of times, but when our region is faced with the kind of challenges we’re seeing right now, that’s when you really witness just how vital this work is,” said Sandra Richardson, CEO of the Victoria Foundation. “And none of it would be possible without the dedication and selflessness of the people working on the ground to make it all happen.” Victoria’s Rapid Relief Fund was established by the Victoria Foundation, Times Colonist and the Jawl Family
to help support these agencies during the COVID-19 pandemic, and since launching the campaign on March 21, Victorians have stepped up in a big way. At the time of writing, the fund sits just over $4.96 million, well on its way to the current goal of $5 million. “The unprecedented success of the campaign is a testament to the respect and appreciation Victorians have for their charitable workers and volunteers,” said Richardson. So far over $2.5M has been distributed from the Fund, with the latest round of disbursements seeing $869,000 shared among 16 different agencies in our region, including those mentioned above. This money will enable the essential front line workers of the charity sector to keep delivering vital services to those who need them most. For more info on the Rapid Relief Fund, including its distribution or to donate, visit: RapidReliefFund.ca.
Gorge Community Association Food Access program coordinator Theresa James-Bates stands by over 60 bags filled with fresh fruit and vegetables, bread and other donated items ready to be delivered to individuals, youth, families and seniors in need. - Burnside Gorge Community Association photo
A tribute to my hero My family nominates Lisa Gullens, who is the unit clerk at Mt. Tolmie long-term care facility. Lisa Gullens is pleasant, very helpful, cheerful to family and residents and goes out of her way to help the residents and family. No request or task is denied or too big or small. Lisa accepts email letters from family, both locally, provincially and internationally. She prints the messages off and delivers them to the residents. Lisa recently wrote, “You are welcome; it is my pleasure to help in any way that I can to keep you guys connected.” This is so very important since our mother moved into Mt. Tolmie on March 9th, just as the lockdown of visitors to long-term care facilities was implemented because of the COVID-19. – Isable, resident family members
Thank You Times Colonist for being here for our community! 822 Fort St., Victoria (250) 383-3524 www.victoria.flagshop.com
20 | On the Front Line | Times Colonist
A special section of the Times Colonist