“Responders Way” signs in place
Signs officially renaming a portion of King Street as “Responders Way” were unveiled at an on-site ceremony in Fort McMurray today.
Following the unveiling, Transportation Minister Brian Mason was joined by first responders from Fort McMurray Fire, EMS, RCMP, Sheriffs and Bylaw Enforcement to visit worksites and present replica signs in appreciation from the entire province for their heroic actions in those frightening early days of May 2016 as “The Beast” wildfire raged around and in their city.
“These signs will ensure that the memory will live on for generations to come of the heroic actions of Fort McMurray’s first responders in safely leading the evacuation of almost 90,000 people from “The Beast” wildfire of 2016. We should always remember the dedication and professionalism that first responders bring to their duties on every shift. They keep us and our community safe.”
First responders helped an estimated 88,000 residents of Fort McMurray safely get out the city during two mandatory evacuations on May 3 and 4, 2016, as people around the world watched with shock and offered to help those suddenly displaced.
“Our first responders ensured that we got out safely and had a community to which we could return. “Responders Way” is a powerful symbol and reminder of the incredible courage and bravery that we witnessed in 2016.”
“The neighbourhoods were evacuated with complete success. We didn’t lose anybody to the fire, which still to this day brings tears to my eyes. The effort made by those frontline responders was absolutely heroic, incredible and amazing and they have my complete respect. Today, as I stand here at the unveiling of this street sign, I am grateful to not only work in this community but to be a part of it. My heartfelt appreciation and gratitude is what I offer to all who worked to keep the people of Wood Buffalo safe during the evacuation last year and who continue to build a stronger community today."
“It is an honour and privilege for us to serve the community of Wood Buffalo as their police service. This sentiment was especially true during the course of the evacuation efforts for the wildfires. It was during these hours and days that I was humbled at the heroic, selfless and tireless effort put forth by our members. We are trained as an organization to react to all types of situations, but on this occasion in particular when we worked to peak performance I felt truly honoured to be part of such a great family of first responders. It is indeed humbling for us and all our first responder partners to be acknowledged by our community in this way and for that I offer you my most sincere thanks.”
“Every day, members of the Sheriffs Branch carry out the work of protecting Albertans with a sense of duty and pride. Our members, like our law enforcement partners and other first responders, don’t choose this career for the acknowledgement – but it is gratifying to see the courage and heroism displayed by those on the front lines during the Fort McMurray wildfire recognized in this way.”
"We are incredibly proud of our EMS practitioners and the care they provide to Albertans every day. It is a great honour to be recognized alongside our fellow emergency responders for the work that was done to support Fort McMurray during the fire and now during the community's recovery."
“Responders Way” is where King Street overpasses Highway 63 in Fort McMurray and was where first responders who participated in the evacuation welcomed home their fellow residents when the staged return began on June 1, 2016 and for the following three days.