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Letter: Thanks for the lifeline, Whistler Fire Rescue Service

'Together we saved our home and prevented thousands of dollars in flood damage'
The Whistler Fire Rescue Service helped a local family avoid disastrous flooding in their home last month.

I wanted to give a big shout out to the Whistler Fire Rescue Service (WFRS) night shift who helped our family out during the early morning hours of Jan. 29 with the big power outage. Their efforts helped mitigate what could very well have been a very costly home flood for us.

We live in an area where the water table is quite high, our two sump pumps keep things at bay for our home’s basement during the winter and spring periods. Unfortunately, things took a left turn when the power went out on the 29th, along with our ability to hold back the rising levels of the water table.

Knowing flood damage would occur within the next half hour (we could see the water rising quickly in the sump pits), we pre-emptively called Walsh Restorations and Canstar Restorations hoping to head it off at the pass. Ironically, they said they could only help us IF the damage was occurring or had occurred, not before. Grasping at straws, we contacted the WFRS. When they arrived, the water in our sump pits had just crested the top, and water was now starting to flow out onto the floor. WFRS kindly supplied us shore power for 10 minutes in order to power our pumps just enough to drain the two sump pits, even though it was against their standard call-out procedures.

WFRS left after 10 minutes. The pits were now half-empty, but they had thrown us enough of a lifeline so we could now get a game plan in place and manually start bailing the pits to stay on top of it. It was an uphill battle as our family bailed water non-stop for the next five and a half hours. It felt like a futile effort as the water levels in the pit still rose, albeit much, much slower. Exhausted and ready to tap out, relief came at 6 a.m. when the power came back on and the sweet sound of the pumps fired up.

As difficult and strenuous as it was, our family of four made a great working team that night. Together we saved our home and prevented thousands of dollars in flood damage. Thank you again Whistler Fire Rescue Service for the lifeline!

John Murphy // Whistler