Candlelight Vigil Honours ORNGE Air Crew

Quiet on the streets of Moosonee as heroes are remembered - Photo by Chris Kat
ORNGE Air Vigil
ORNGE AIR Candlelight Vigil in Moosonee – Image by Chris Kat

MOOSONEE – People remember and people care. The memories of the ORNGE Air helicopter crash were honoured and remembered in Moosonee on Saturday night with a candlelight vigil. First Responders, friends, and community all came together to remember the four fallen heroes who died early Friday morning when their ORNGE Air helicopter crashed.

The President of ORNGE Air Andy McCallum states, “I wish to express my deepest condolences to the families and friends of each of these four individuals. Their lives were lost in serving the public, and we owe a deep debt of gratitude”.

Somber walk to honour the Air Crew – Photo by Chris Kat

Saturday night in a somber walk, people from the community shared and honoured the pilots and paramedics.

First Officer Jacques Dupuy, of Otterburn-Park Quebec 

Jacques Dupuy joined us on August 5, 2012 and has been flying since 1996. He had experience as bush pilot with Quebec Helicopters and as an executive pilot for Colibri Helicopters. Jacques was 43, had worked all over the world and leaves behind his wife Josee Capuano and their two children 

Quiet on the streets of Moosonee as heroes are remembered – Photo by Chris Kat

Flight Paramedic Dustin Dagenais, of Moose Factory Ontario 

A paramedic since 2007, Dustin joined Ornge on November 2, 2011 as a primary care paramedic. He was well known in the James Bay area, having worked for James Bay Ambulance Services in Moosonee and Attawapiskat. Dustin was 34 and leaves his wife Josee Cousineau and an infant child. 

Moosonee Fire Fighters – First Responders go in when others run out. Photo by Chris Kat

Flight Paramedic Chris Snowball, of Burlington Ontario 

Christopher was 38 and joined Ornge on November 24, 2011 as a primary care paramedic. He also was well known in the James Bay area, having worked for Wabusk Air Ambulance in Moosonee. He also worked for Emergency Medical care Inc., in Baddeck Nova Scotia for 10 years. Christopher was also a volunteer fire fighter in NS, and is survived by his wife Alvaretta and their three children.

Across the North the efforts of the Air Crew are being remembered – Photo by Chris Kat

The team was on its way to Attawapiskat for a medical pick up.

ORNGE Air President McCallum states, “Ambulance services continue to be offered by a combination of fixed wing, rotor wing and land ambulances, in partnership with EMS services. We have normal operations with our PC12 fixed wing aircraft, AW139 rotor wing aircraft, and Standing Agreement carriers. Our Sikorsky rotor wing operations in Thunder Bay and Kenora have been taken off line until preliminary information is available from the Transportation Safety Board“. 

We have also received a number of questions about the flight circumstances. In response, I can confirm that, the weather was adequate for the mission being flown.  The downed aircraft was manufactured in 1980, and has been flying for more than 30 years. There are approximately 31 such Sikorsky aircraft of this vintage currently flying in Canada. Transport Canada regularly inspects all aircraft to certify that they are safe to fly, including Ornge’s fleet”. 

Photos: ©2013 Chris Kataquapit

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