Garth Cameron

Garth Cameron receives RCMP Certificate of Appreciation

“I can do what I do because my family stands behind me."

When disaster strikes, the families of victims need support.

A local hero received an RCMP Certificate of Appreciation at a ceremony held in Courtenay on Nov. 3.

Garth Cameron, a 14-year veteran of the West Coast’s volunteer Search and Rescue team, was recognized for his actions during a recovery effort to find the remains of a father and son who died in a plane crash on Vargas Island Dec. 14, 2013.

In a letter announcing the award, Island District RCMP Chief Superintendent Ray Bernoties said Cameron was a vital source of leadership during the search, ensuring the remains were handled respectfully and the victim’s family members, and volunteer searchers, were taken care of.

“His expertise, team building abilities, organization and leadership skills ensured that this difficult task was completed with the respect the families deserved,” Bernoties wrote. “His loyal support to the RCMP, the Search and Rescue team and his community bring credit to himself and are in keeping with the highest standards of a Canadian Citizen.”

Cameron told the Westerly he was humbled and honoured to receive the certificate.

“It means a lot to me,” he said. “It was humbling to be recognized for what I do.”

He said he has been involved in about 10 body recoveries on the West Coast and, while the work is demanding both physically and emotionally, he is driven to do it by his compassion and love for people.

“Out of those body recoveries, three were close friends of mine,” he said.

“It’s a humbling experience for me but I have a great honour to provide that service for families because not everybody can do that. It’s pretty nasty business.”

He added his commitment to the cause is fuelled by families, not certificates.

“I don’t do it for the recognition…I do what I do for those who are on the receiving end of what I do,” he said. “It’s somebody’s loved one. It’s a family member…When the family comes out, they make a great effort to recover as much of the remains as possible to take home so they have some closure. So they have something to bury, and that’s extremely important.

“People are hurting and they want their loved ones home whether they’re still alive or not. It’s very humbling to provide that service. It’s an honour to provide that service and I’m full of compassion when I do it. The bodies that I have handled are handled with great respect.”

He added he could not do what he does without the unwavering support he receives from his wife Holly and four children.

“I can do what I do because my family stands behind me. If my wife and my kids did not support me the way that they do, the service that I provide would be impossible,” he said. “In the certificate, I’m recognized, but it goes to my wife and my kids as well.”

 

Just Posted

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

Christmas Hamper programs spread neighbourly love over Tofino and Ucluelet

“We are so very grateful for the continued support from all of you.”

Winter Lights shine in Tofino

“The light and art through the gardens exist in this very magical, twinkling, holiday fairyland.”

#MeToo at work: How reporting sexual harassment works – and how it doesn’t

British Columbians have four options to report harassment or assault, but none of them are easy

Chamber hosts Christmas decorating contest in Ucluelet

“It’s the holiday season and this is something fun that gets people excited.”

Ucluelet’s Sail Past

On Wednesday, Dec. 13 under a starry night sky, 10 illuminated boats… Continue reading

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

Woman in Nanaimo accidentally hands over diamond ring with spare change

Incident happened Wednesday at about 7 p.m. at parking lot near Nanaimo’s boardwalk

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

Most Read