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(Stellarton, N.S.) – Staff at the Riverview Adult Residential Centre – who yesterday had to evacuate 106 residents in a crisis situation – did so in mere minutes from the time the order was issued.

Betty Jean Sutherland, the president of CUPE Local 2330 which represents the Riverview staff, says, “We would just like the public to know how well these employees worked as part of the team that successfully evacuated those clients.”

Residents were ushered out of their home and into the cold Monday morning when the centre’s fire sprinklers went off, causing water damage.

Sutherland says, “Every one of them was evacuated next door to Valley View Villa just before noon, and the staff in that facility – also members of CUPE - provided an extra 106 meals at lunch and again another 106 meals for supper.”
Says Sutherland, “To their credit, the Department of Community Services, authorized payment for whatever it takes to keep everyone safe and secure including overtime, etc.  Some of the staff are working 24/7 right now.”
“I personally have heard several accounts of staff who made selfless sacrifices and acts of courage to make sure these residents, many of whom are high risk and suffer from severe mental conditions, were lead to safety.

These CUPE members are now doing their best to provide care for some of these residents in a local fire hall,” says Sutherland.
“I am extremely proud of the amazing job they have done under trying circumstances.  Our community should be very proud of them too,” she says.

For information:

Betty Jean Sutherland                                           John McCracken
President, CUPE Local                                       CUPE Communications Representative
(902) 455-4180 (o)                                              (902) 455-4180 (o)
(902) 759-6382 (cell)