Red Cross to cover B.C. man’s $20,000 emergency airfare after evacuation

Red Cross to cover B.C. man’s $20,000 emergency airfare after evacuation

Evacuated to Whitehorse during wildfires but had to be flown to Vancouver for heart condition

A southern B.C. man’s $20,000 emergency airfare incurred during 2017’s wildfire season will be paid by the Red Cross.

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett says she is pleased to announce a resolution to the plight of 90-year-old Rudolph Dunst of Lone Butte.

Dunst and his 87-year-old wife were forced to evacuate during last summer’s wildfires. They were able to find accommodation in Whitehorse but he was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with a heart condition. He required a procedure that could not be performed in Whitehorse and was airlifted to St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver via Yukon Air.

This left Dunst with a $20,000 bill for emergency airfare.

According to Barnett, he approached her office on December 14 of last year and Dunst eventually spoke directly with a ministry official who told him that his transportation costs would not be covered because it was ‘out of province’ travel.

Barnett raised the matter twice during question period at the Legislature. Health minister Adrian Dix repeatedly gave assurances. Barnett then approached the Red Cross directly and advocated on behalf of Mr. Dunst. The Red Cross kindly agreed to cover the $20,000 bill for emergency airfare.

“I find it rather disturbing to have this poor man put through months of unnecessary distress,” said Barnett. “Why didn’t the minister act when he had the opportunity? It is only through a determined effort at the highest levels that finally brought this matter to a close. The health minister should be ashamed of himself.”

We reached out the the Red Cross and Health Minister Adrian Dix and are currently waiting to hear back. We will update the story when we do.


max.winkelman@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

First Journey Trails CEO Thomas Schoen (from left), Jimco Services’ James Doerfling, Williams Lake First Nation Chief Willie Sellars and Sugar Cane Archaeology’s Marvin Bob break ground on a new mountain biking trail network project at WLFN. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
WATCH: Williams Lake First Nation breaks ground on multi-use bike trail project

Phase one of the project will see the construction of a 1,750-metre hiking and biking trail

Kimberley case counts not at the point for 18 years and older community vaccination, says Interior Health. (File photo)
Many factors considered for smaller community-wide vaccination: Interior Health

East Kootenay resort town’s COVID-19 situation not at the point of community-wide vaccination, say officials

Kira Stowell rode her way to first place in the senior pole bending event at the combined High School Rodeo in Quesnel in the only event of 2020. All regional high school events have been cancelled, although there are still hopes for provincials. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
High school rodeo events cancelled

Rodeos were planned for Williams Lake and Quesnel in early May

The COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake campus is closed April 22, 23, Interior Health confirmed. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake COVID-19 vaccine community clinic closed April 22, 23

Interior Health said closure comes as all appointments caught up, or rescheduled earlier

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on property

Most Read