On behalf of Lambton County Council, I wish to send our most heartfelt thanks to every resident in Lambton County who in some way helped in our response to the severe winter storm that plagued our community the week of December 12, 2010.
While declaring a state of an emergency in a community is not a decision to take lightly, I felt it was a necessity upon learning of the hundreds of stranded motorists left in the cold and snow along Highway 402 and area roadways. This declaration allowed for extra resources, including the use of military helicopters and personnel, who were invaluable to the rescue efforts and were able to ensure that stranded motorists in the most secluded of areas could be reached.
Our local Lambton OPP officers were instrumental in providing the advice necessary to declare the emergency, and worked tirelessly to ensure that every stranded motorist made it out of harm's way. Local volunteer fire departments were very visible throughout the rescue mission, greeting motorists at warming centres, and providing any assistance that was required. Additionally, Paramedics from the County of Lambton Emergency Medical Services Department braved treacherous road conditions to provide medical assistance at warming centres, and when necessary, provided transportation to local hospitals.
In addition to the outstanding work of our emergency responders, I wish to extend a sincere thank you to Lambton's 11 municipal partners. While some municipalities were working diligently to set-up and staff warming centres, call out all available personnel and equipment to clear roads, and deal with a variety of requests, other municipalities not affected by the storm called in with offers to help out in any way possible.
The response from the public during this response was overwhelming and heart warming. I cannot thank enough, those who stepped forward to serve as volunteers at reception centres, those who volunteered their homes and took in stranded motorists, those who donated blankets and supplies to warming centres, those who operated businesses and donated meals and those businesses and residents who called with offers of equipment, space, and other resources. We wish to especially thank the Warwick Snowmobile Club who participated in the rescue effort and contributed to the successful outcome.
Finally, we wish to thank our members of the media, who also worked around the clock to help us deliver important messages, advising motorists to stay with their vehicles, describing where to find warming centres, encouraging residents to stay off the roads, and telling the 'good news' stories of our caring residents and how they helped out and opened their homes.
All of you, collectively, have shown to the world, that Lambton County is truly a caring and hospitable community. A community filled with professionals who work around the clock when necessary to ensure a successful outcome. A community that goes out of its way to help friends and strangers equally. A community that we are all fortunate to call home.
Again, on behalf of Lambton County Council, we offer our deepest thanks to everyone involved in this large-scale response effort. Each of you made our successful outcome a reality. Thank you.
Warden, Lambton County