By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario - A flood in Thunder Bay. A fire in Hawkesbury. 375 Kashechewan First Nations evacuees in need of care in Cornwall. All these tragic circumstances have one helpful thing in common: Jean Claude (JC) Campeau.
The S.D.&G. (Cornwall) Branch of the Canadian Red Cross paid tribute to its volunteers during their annual awards night at the RCAF Association Wing 424.
Taking the top spot was Campeau, the newest Red Cross volunteer of the year.
"I decided to join when Haiti was hit with the hurricane," said Campeau. "I'm a retired nurse, so I felt I could help out."
Campeau wears two hats with the volunteer organization: he's a member of the disaster management team and the transportation program.
Disaster management currently has 30 volunteers. In 2011, they received five calls. This year, they average one call every two weeks or more. In 2013, volunteers were deployed to Ottawa, Hurricane Sandy in the United States, Calgary floods and the evacuation of 375 people to Cornwall.
The transportation program, established 14 years ago, has 35 drivers. Currently, they have dedicated 56,000 hours, over 17,000 trips and 2.6 million kilometres. Last year, a total of 967 people used the service and in 2013, they expect even more.
"It's fairly rare for someone to give that much time," said Red Cross disaster management coordinator Allan Jensen. "This makes JC unique."
Campeau said after being a nurse for 30 years, the gratification of helping others made him want to continue after retirement.
The volunteer of the year was even on call during the annual award ceremony. A trusted pager stays strapped to his side. If firefighters need the assistance of Red Cross volunteers, Campeau will be one of the first to know.
"He's a humanitarian in every sense of the word," said Jensen.
To find out more about the Canadian Red Cross S.D.&G. (Cornwall) Branch, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
List of Red Cross milestone awards:
15 years of volunteer service:
Doreen Blizzard - Knitter
Irene Labelle - Knitter
10 years of volunteer service:
Jessie Bousquet - Knitter
Carolyn Lanteigne - Knitter
5 years of volunteer service:
Earl Alguire - Transportation
Douglas Anderson - Transportation
Francine Bouchard - Knitter
Evangeline Brunet - Knitter
Suzanne Clouthier - Knitter
Wilfrid Dagenais - Transportation
Ginette Fuchs - Knitter
Hazel Grant - Knitter
Huguette Landiault - Knitter
Allan MacKay - Transportaiton
Claudette MacNeil - Knitter
Larry Somerville - Transportation
Doris Wright - Knitter
3 years of volunteer service:
Andrea Benson - Knitter
Paul Beriault - Knitter
Peggy Campeau - Knitter
Thomas Dalton - Transportation
Jean Paul Deschamps - Transportation
Roger Leger - Transportation
James Levert - Disaster Management
Lucy Martel - Knitter
Michele Menard-Willard - Disaster Management
Michelle Paquette - Disaster Management
Jocelyn Poirier - Knitter
Aline Rose - Knitter