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Soldiers answering a call




For a transcript of the lyrics to the regimental song  Ric-a Dam-Doo, click here.

When the Canadian Military was called in to help fight the Silver Creek Fire, Fire Boss Roy Benson gave a sigh of relief. His firefighters on the front line needed help.

One hundred soldiers from the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) were sent from Edmonton, Alberta. They were called Type 3 Firefighters, a contingency force that was called to action because other firefighting resources were running short. The soldiers were in good physical shape and used to working in difficult conditions.

Before PPCLI was sent into the fire, soldiers completed a two-day S-100 Basic Fire Suppression and Safety Training Course. Although they were trained, the PPCLI firefighters required close supervision because they had limited firefighting experience. Their duties included building fire guards and extinguishing small fires.

The soldiers worked from August 8th until the 17th when they were replaced by a second set of soldiers from the I Combat Engineer Regiment (1CER).

Waiting for transport back to Edmonton, three members of the PPCLI were sitting enjoying a cup of coffee at Tim Horton’s. Master Cpl. Manzaara, Master Cpl. Ford, and Cpl. Ragsdale spoke to a reporter with the Lakeshore News. . .

“It is different to what you see in the movies,” said the three soldiers, agreeing when they thought about their experience fighting the Silver Creek Fire. They learned how serious a fire can become. It took an awful lot of water – ten times more than they thought. It also took a lot of work. Constant work.

“We were happy to be helping our own people rather than helping people overseas,” they said.[1]


Text credit:
[1] Lakeshore News, August 25, 1998.

Homefire –
the Wives of the Princess Patricia’s Regiment
Bryan Adams & Jim Vallance

Audio credit:
©Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry Foundation,
c. 2013

Photo credit:
James Murray, Salmon Arm Observer, c. 1998