Friday April 6th, 2018 will never be forgotten in the province of Saskatchewan. Early that evening, at the junction of highways 35 and 335 in the province’s northeast, tragedy struck. A bus carrying 29 members of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Humboldt Broncos was struck by a tractor-trailer unit ultimately causing 16 deaths and sending over half to the hospital. First responders, many of them volunteers, were quick to attend the scene, providing care and life-saving assistance onsite. Two IBEW Local 2067 Members, George St. Amant (Gas Inspector, Tisdale) and Ryan Steinhaeusser (Electrical Inspector, Tisdale) are members of the Tisdale Volunteer Fire Department, and were two of the first on the scene. Their immediate and appropriate actions have been acknowledged as having saved lives that day. Words cannot express the gratitude and admiration felt for these two heroes among us.
The IBEW Local 2067 Executive and Business Office offer sincerest condolences to the family and friends of those who have suffered loss, best wishes of recovery to those who survived, and immeasurable gratitude to the first responders who attended the accident. Local 2067 understands it is impossible to fill the void for the families who have suffered such immense loss. We also realize that survivors and first responders may never fully recover from the mental and emotional trauma even though physical injuries may heal in time. “No amount of money will make anyone involved whole. We donate what we can, but we make a real difference with our thoughts, prayers, and by showing support in the communities.” states Business Manager Jason Tibbs.
While Local 2067 was able to donate to the SJHL Assistance Fund (https://www.sjhl.ca/sjhlassistanceprogram), the Nipawin Volunteer Fire Department, and the Tisdale First Responders, here are some other measures you can take if you want to help:
• Donate Blood: There is always a requirement for blood, especially in a loss like this where reserves can be depleted in a matter of hours;
• Thank a first responder: Many of us know them or some IBEW Members may be one. These are the individuals that make the difference when tragedy hits. They respond, and have to deal with the emotional aftermath that many of us would struggle to visualize.
• Be a compassionate ear: Many of us have traveled that road, been on that bus, or even ridden with Glen Doerksen while he transported our kids to hockey tournaments or school ski trips.