Seymour Arm First Responders include (standing) Pat Gibson, Angelica Gajewski, Bruce Salamandyk, Tanner Wiebe, (sitting) Susan Howie, Petra Ewan, (missing from photo) Lesley Milligan and John Castle. (Contributed)

Seymour Arm First Responders include (standing) Pat Gibson, Angelica Gajewski, Bruce Salamandyk, Tanner Wiebe, (sitting) Susan Howie, Petra Ewan, (missing from photo) Lesley Milligan and John Castle. (Contributed)

New radios a game changer for North Shuswap first responders group

$10,000 grant awarded to Seymour Arm First Responders

New radio gear will bring Seymour Arm’s First Responders into closer contact with other emergency services in the region.

For six years, members of the volunteer group serving the secluded North Shuswap community has been responding to medical emergencies without the use of emergency radios. This has been awkward, explained Paula Salamandyk, the group’s secretary, especially when there is no cellular service in Seymour Arm.

“Previously, what they’ve done on a hope and a whim was try to get a hold of someone when a responder was needed,” explained Salamandyk.

“We’ve had people knock on responders’ doors to get them to come to a call.”

Read more: South Shuswap First Responders looking for additional volunteers

Read more: Update: Shuswap road rescue crews still active

This will no longer be the case, thanks to a $10,000 Kenwood Care Community Support Grant that was recently awarded to the Seymour Arm group.

“It’s a much needed service here – it’s the only medical service that’s available here in Seymour Arm,” said Salamandyk.

Vella Radio in Salmon Arm is preparing the radios for the first responders, which will put them in closer contact with BC Ambulance, RCMP, Shuswap Search and Rescue and the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue.

Salamandyk called the radios a game changer for the Seymour Arm organization.

“Now at least they will have the capability to have the radio on scene…They don’t have to wait until they get into cell service to call, or try to get one of the road radios to call someone.”

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