The B.C. government has created the Above and Beyond Awards program to recognize people who made a big difference in their communities during 2017’s devastating floods and wildfires, Premier John Horgan announced Saturday.
“People deserve to be recognized for going above and beyond to help each other in the midst of this year’s devastating wildfires and floods,” said Premier Horgan.
“Those who opened their homes to people and pets, cooked meals for evacuees, and offered up comfort in a difficult time showed a true community spirit that needs to be celebrated.”
When this year’s floods and wildfires were at their most challenging, thousands of British Columbians stepped up and showed their commitment to their communities and those in need throughout the province. Their strength of character made everyone whose lives they touched grateful for their kindness, generosity and tireless efforts.
“Through the adversity of the floods and wildfires in the Interior over this past spring and summer, the strength and resilience of British Columbians shone through,” said Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Minister Doug Donaldson. “We need to recognize and celebrate the incredible work that people from all walks of life offered to help neighbours and strangers in need.”
The Above and Beyond Awards program allows anyone in the province to nominate firefighters, first responders or anyone else in B.C. to acknowledge the exemplary service that they provided in response to difficult situations, as they assisted friends, neighbours and complete strangers.
“I’ve had the privilege to meet many extraordinary people this past summer who have gone above and beyond to assist their families, friends and neighbours. I know there are countless other instances of these everyday heroes and this award program is an opportunity to let them know about the lasting impact they have had on our communities,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness.
A website has been set up so people can learn more about this awards program and submit their nominations online: engage.gov.bc.ca/aboveandbeyondawards
Everyone who is nominated will receive a certificate of distinction, signed by Premier Horgan.
Nominations for the Above and Beyond Awards close on Jan. 15, 2018.
- During freshet, close to 20 communities and thousands of homeowners were impacted by flood waters, and emergency social service supports were provided to more than 2,500 residents. The Province deployed 7.5 km of gabions, 6.7 km of Tiger Dams, and more than 4 million sandbags to support local authorities in their flood response.
- Over the course of the wildfire season, approximately 65,000 people were evacuated from their homes. Over 1.2 million hectares were burnt and direct wildfire fighting costs reached over $552 million.