WPD Ambulance was heavily involved in volunteer efforts to clean up the community in the wake of the June 25 storm that hit North Battleford.
An average of 10 to 12 volunteers were giving their time Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, according to WPD spokesman Jason Toovey.
The volunteers were mainly made up of WPD paramedics who devoted their free time to cleaning up storm damage. As well, a call went out from WPD for volunteers from the community to join in the cleanup effort.
They worked clean up the debris and uprooted trees that littered the community.
They were “filling trailers and filling tractor buckets and filling everything we could possibly scrape together to try and clean up the community to haul all the tree branches away,” said Toovey.
The majority of the effort was concentrated on the Riverview subdivision, in co-ordination with City staff’s. Toovey said they focused on that area in particular as it was one the city could not focus on right away.
The Regional Optimist noticed the WPD volunteers in full force in the Riverview area July 26, where they were actively removing trees and hauling them into waiting vehicles so they could be moved to the city landfill.
The volunteers used chainsaws and “pure muscle,” said Toovey, to remove trees from yards. He recalls spending seven hours dealing with one tree alone.
On the second day, volunteers went from street to street to load up trailers with debris and branches.
Like many areas of North Battleford, Riverview was hard hit by the storm damage, but it is now almost “totally 100 per cent cleaned up,” Toovey reports.
WPD donated four vehicles and trailers for the cleanup effort, including half-ton trucks, a big grain truck and flat-deck trailers.
WPD reports they were proud to partner with other businesses and people in the community “to make a difference wherever we can.” Among the businesses helping out were Kal Tire, Domino’s Pizza and Valley Ford.
JayDee AgTech donated a front-end loader that Toovey said was valuable in picking up some of the huge roots from the trees.
WPD estimates they made around 40 trips to the landfill during the two days. In all volunteers donated over 170 hours of their time to the cleanup.
While most of the cleanup is done, it is not quite over. WPD does plan to go back into the community sometime next week to try to help out a couple of places that “really are in need,” said Toovey.