Tomorrow morning Midge Novak will once again be heading toward the smoke and flames instead of away.
But this time she will be working as a health-care aide in Prince George, she will be paid and all of her expenses will be covered through Island Health.
“We have offered, where possible, to pay for our staff to travel and to work in those affected areas just as we support our colleagues that are battling wildfires…” said Meribeth Burton, media relations officer for Island Health.
Novak was in the Kamloops area volunteering with the Postmen earlier in July. Since her return she has been collecting donations to be distributed by the Postmen to evacuees in need, as well as trying to make arrangements to head back over there.
She said she had intended on taking the rest of her holiday time to continue volunteering, but now she doesn’t have to.
“My truck is loaded, I’m trying to figure out where I am going to put my suitcase,” she said with a laugh.
Novak, a care aide at Yuclata Lodge, will be working at a care facility in Prince George, that has taken on evacuees despite being full.
“It’s going to be pretty cramped,” Novak said.
At the moment it is a 10 day deployment, and Novak is working nine 12 hour shifts while she is there.
“I would have worked them all but they think I need to have a break,” she said.
Novak is one of 200 Island Health employees who applied to help with wildfire relief. She is one of the first of 14 who will be deployed.
“It’s just one small thing that we think we can do to help support our fellow British Columbians, and we are super proud of her,” Burton said. “She’s a hero to me.”