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Father and son airlifted to Calgary after suffering severe burns in Saskatchewan wildfire
Published Thursday, October 19, 2017 5:37PM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 19, 2017 7:03PM MDT
A father and son from Saskatchewan are undergoing treatment in the burn unit at the Foothills Medical Centre after they suffered significant injuries while trying to help in the fight against a wildfire.
On Tuesday, Ron Wedrick, 43, and his 25-year-old son Evan from Tompkins, Saskatchewan joined their neighbours and drove west of the town in an effort to stave off a grassfire near the community of Maple Creek. The father and son encountered strong wind and poor visibility and their truck left the road.
“They drove into the ditch and the wind changed and they became engulfed in the flames,” said Ron’s wife Twila. “They decided to jump out of the truck because they weren’t sure what was going to happen and they tried to run through the fire to get through it.”
Twila says Ron and Evan both work in the oilfield and she credits an app installed on Ron’s cellphone for getting an ambulance to them. “He was able to push a button and call a friend to call an ambulance and then pushed a button to let his fellow co-workers know where he was,” said Twila. “They were able to get an ambulance to him because of this special app that they have to give the location.”
The two men were airlifted by helicopter to the Foothills Medical Centre after suffering severe burns and smoke inhalation.
Twila, Evan’s wife Kymberleigh and Evan’s two-and-a-half month old daughter have arrived in Calgary to be with the injured men in hospital.
“He’s in critical condition,” said Kymberleigh of Evan’s condition. “He’s not in great shape. It’ll be a long journey.”
Ron Wedrick is considered to be in stable condition.
Twila and Kymberleigh say they have been overwhelmed by the support they’ve received from family, friends and complete strangers. The two women have been sharing the positive messages and prayers with their injured husbands and a GoFundMe campaign for the family has eased financial concerns.
“We’re able to tell our guys, even though they can’t see or talk, that they can just get better,” said Twila. “It’s allowing us to be here and not having to worry about anything else.”
The ‘Help Wedrick Families After Fire’ GoFundMe campaign had a goal of raising $5,000 for the families. In the first day of fundraising, more than $58,000 in donations was pledged and the total continues to grow.
“The support has been amazing,” said Twila. “We’re just really grateful and thankful for everybody. Thank you everybody and thanks to everybody that was out there fighting that night to help the community and thanks for your continued support going forward.”
“We’ve got people that know people that want to help that don’t know us. Obviously our boys have made a big impression that everybody wants to help.”
Kymberleigh says she hope the messages continue to pour in so they can share them with the injured men in hospital.
With files from CTV’s Stephanie Wiebe