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Canadian Forces and the weather


Suzanne Leonard, reporter
February 19, 2012 — It's the Canadian Forces' job to protect us - and at times, the weather can get in the way.


The Canadian Forces has to take special precautions during extreme weather events
The Canadian Forces has to take special precautions during extreme weather events

The Canadian Forces protects us - even from the weather.

"We have to respect Mother Nature," says Sgt. Steeve Bédard. "If she throws you a curve ball, hopefully you will be fast enough ... to keep yourself alive. Also, to keep the person that you're rescuing [safe] from the elements."
 
And Sgt. Bédard has had a few close calls. 
 
"[There was] a boat in the water ... [and there] were fairly big waves of forty feet." Bédard and his team had to adjust their swimming so that they were able to get to the rescue site safely.
 
"When you go down into the ocean, it is frigid Arctic water and you're going to start to lose your dexterity within fifteen minutes."
 
North of the 50 degree parallel line, you'll find the Canadian Rangers. The challenges in the north can be even more extreme.
 
"We're basically the eyes and ears of the north," says MCPL Kim Cheena. "[An] event may happen, or an emergency, or somebody gets lost, we would provide the search and rescue services."
 
In this division of the Canadian Forces, 93% are of aboriginal descent.
 
"It's very important because we are the ones that know the land - we know how to get [around], we know how to prepare for the weather [and] we know how the weather works in our community," Cheena says. "There's no time when you can say: 'OK, we're not going out in that weather' ... we still go - regardless of the weather.

We have to."

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