THUNDER BAY – On behalf of the Omushkegowuk, Grand Chief Stan Louttit offers his deepest sympathies to the families, co-workers and friends of the four emergency services personnel of ORNGE that perished in the tragic helicopter crash on Friday, May 31, 2013. “We are so fortunate to have such dedicated, passionate and caring citizens that put their own lives on the line to help care for our people in the far north, this tragedy is felt in each of our homes and we share the loss of these heroes,” the Grand Chief said.
“We call upon God our Creator for strength as we mourn together during this very difficult time.”
Kenora MP Greg Rickford, who as a nurse has flown many medical evacuations stood in the House of Commons on Friday.
MP Rickford said, “As a nurse on countless medical evacs and relying on teams like the four who perished, I appreciate their work. They are dedicated to making sure Canadians living in our isolated and remote communities in the vast region of northern Ontario are picked up and transported safely almost without exception, no matter the weather or the time of day, in this case the Orange Sikorsky helicopter was reported missing at 1:11 a.m. this morning. Canadian Forces search and rescue assets were dispatched swiftly. Our SARTECS parachuted on to the crash scene and confirmed the fatalities at dawn.
“I ask all members to join me in paying tribute to this tragic loss of these four lives and those who take such particular risks to ensure the health and safety of all Canadians across this immense country.
“We share their loss. Our hearts are with their family and friends”.
Health Minister Deb Matthews issued the following statement:
“I am heartbroken at the tragic news of the loss of two pilots and two paramedics in an Ornge air ambulance crash early this morning near Moosonee.
“Today we mourn the loss of Captain Don Filliter of Skead, Ontario; First Officer Jacques Dupuy, of Otterburn-Park, Quebec; Primary Care Flight Paramedic Dustin Dagenais, of Moose Factory, Ontario; and Primary Care Flight Paramedic Chris Snowball, of Burlington, Ontario.
“Four people dedicated to saving the lives of others have lost their own lives. They are true heroes, as are their fellow frontline paramedics and pilots, who are committed to working hard every day to provide care to our loved ones.
At this difficult time, my first thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased, and all the staff at Ornge. All the people of Ontario share in their grief. Our government will work closely with Ornge as the Transportation Safety Board of Canada investigates this incident fully and thoroughly.”