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Fort McMurray lodge staff commended for heroism

Staff at a seniors lodge in Fort McMurray received thanks for safely evacuating all 38 residents during the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire.

Fort McMurray lodge staff commended for heroism

Minister Lori Sigurdson thanks employees of Rotary Lodge and Eagle Hill Foundation for their heroic efforts in evacuating seniors during the Fort McMurray wildfire in 2016.

The Wood Buffalo Housing and Development Corporation, which operates the Rotary House Lodge, credits 26 of its employees for getting the residents to safety.

As well, six workers from the Eagle Hill Foundation housing body were recognized for arranging transportation and organizing accommodation for some of the Rotary House Lodge residents.

Alberta Seniors and Housing worked to co-ordinate the efforts of various housing bodies to ensure the safety of the lodge residents.

“During the wildfire, I had the opportunity to visit the seniors evacuated from Fort McMurray. I learned about all the heroic acts by staff to support the lodge residents. Today, we thank these people for all that they’ve done—like Wanda Sullivan, who drove hours in the middle of the night to ensure these seniors got the care they needed.”

Lori Sigurdson, Minister of Seniors and Housing

“We are proud of each and every staff member at Rotary House Lodge for their work during the evacuation, the re-entry and the past year of community recovery. They showed impressive professionalism and compassion as they helped our seniors throughout an extraordinary year filled with turmoil and disruption.”

Maggie Farrington, board chair, Wood Buffalo Housing and Development Corporation

“Our only concern was making sure our lodge residents were taken safely out of harm’s way and were welcomed and made comfortable in other accommodation. I want to thank all members of our team who demonstrated such care and compassion for our senior residents.” 

Wanda Sullivan, assistant CAO, Eagle Hill Foundation

Quick facts

  • On May 3, 2016, 38 seniors were evacuated from the Rotary House Lodge in Fort McMurray and were relocated to lodges in Willingdon, Myrnam, Two Hills and Fort Saskatchewan.
  • In July 2016, 36 seniors returned to live at Rotary House Lodge. One senior relocated to Lac La Biche while another senior passed away from natural causes.

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