GRATITUDE AND THANKFULNESS must be inherent human emotions. Both have been in abundance over the last few days and weeks in Kamloops.
Checking on social media, here are a few of the posts of thanks for various fire crews and emergency services personnel.
“I have 2 siblings on evac orders from 2 different fires tonight. This is insanity. Be safe, BC residents! A huge thank you to all of the amazing firefighters who are putting everything on the line to save so much. We see you & we appreciate you all. #BCWildfire #Kamloops”
“Just saw a Delta firetruck in Kamloops this morning and wanted to say ‘thank you’ to all the crews who’ve come to help in the Interior! #Kamloops”
“My heart is with the residents of Logan Lake. Thank you to the hundreds of firefighters and crew working tirelessly to keep the town safe. #loganlake”
There were posts of thanks for fire crews from the Yukon, Mexico and Alberta as well.
The outstanding job of the local media has not gone unnoticed either. Over the last few weeks, situations such as Logan Lake, Monte Creek, Juniper and other areas have developed exceedingly quickly. Local media didn’t hesitate to work weekends, and evenings to make sure the latest information was available to people when they needed it.
“Thank you @RadioNLNews @JonKeenNLSports @ReimerHowie @CFJC_Today and @Kamscan for all the updates tonight. Also thank you all first responders and the fire fighters!!”
“The team @RadioNLNews deserve a #CommunityService award for the decision to interrupt scheduled programming and go live re rapidly developing situation in greater #Kamloops + #WhiteRockLakeFire: evac orders/alerts + general #community info/support. #Pritchard #Savona #MonteLake”
And from July: “Lightning is apparently almost non-stop in #kamloops, generating new fires. & news crews are still on the ground reporting, making sure the public has information. I commend & thank every reporter from every outlet out there right now working.”
There was gratitude for the weather gods as well.
“Rain in Kamloops. Thank goodness! #Kamloops #BCWildfire.”
“Exactly the #rain changed my feelings of #hopelessness to #hope! Let it rain! Let it rain! Let it Rain! #Lyttonfire #MonteLake #BCWildfires”
“Good news. The rain has sure helped. #Kamloops.”
“Happy day #clouds in #kamloops! The sky is smiling and saying… “you’re welcome”.”
For the last six weeks, I’ve been working at the Emergency Support Services centre in Kamloops. I’ve spoken to hundreds of evacuees. Some have lost everything. Some don’t know. All are uncertain about their futures, displaced and disoriented. Almost every one of them has said thank you to the ESS volunteers.
Often times, the critics seem to prevail. They are the ones who are heard. These are stressful times, and not everything goes how it should, or how we’d wish for. There is always something that could have been done better.
But given the opportunity, people give thanks again and again. For rain and blue skies. For local media covering the wildfires. For emergency personnel and fire crews keeping us as safe as possible. For the support each of us is giving to each other to get through these apocalyptic times.
Giving thanks is part of who we all are, even in the darkest times. As grim as things have been over the last few weeks, there is an abundance of gratitude and thankfulness. It’s who we are.
Nancy Bepple is a former City councillor of Kamloops with a strong interest in community building projects.