Penticton fire chief returns after helping Kentucky flood victims by volunteering with disaster response team

Fire chief helping Kentucky

Penticton fire chief Larry Watkinson recently spent a week down south with Team Rubicon, an international disaster response team, assisting after flooding in eastern Kentucky devastated hundreds of homes.

Watkinson said that his time was spent volunteering his expertise and mucking out homes to help get recovery started.

"I think we, as a community and myself included, need to contribute to those people. Because that's going to happen to us one day, and I'm going to call on my colleagues and friends, like we did with the Christie Mountain wildfire," he added.

"So I think if we have the skill set, let's share it and be part of the greater good."

During the height of the flooding, the water rose 18 feet from its natural watercourse, and eight and a half inches of rain fell in one day alone.

"I was down there doing rapid damage assessments on properties that were getting devastated by the flooding there," Watkinson said. "The poor people of Kentucky really were catastrophically damaged there."

Watkinson has volunteered his time to disaster relief many times, including taking his dog Sammy, a trained disaster dog, out on assignment.

"It was very rewarding," he added."They have a long road ahead of themselves."

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