Victorian Retirement Community ran into trouble when lowering the flag to half mast and Saanich Fire stepped in to help. (Photo courtesy Jake Pelletier)

Victorian Retirement Community ran into trouble when lowering the flag to half mast and Saanich Fire stepped in to help. (Photo courtesy Jake Pelletier)

Saanich firefighters save Remembrance Day ceremony at retirement home

The flag cord broke and crews worked to get it back up in time for the ceremony

The Victorian Retirement Community turned to the Saanich Fire Department for help when their flag tumbled to the ground on Nov. 11.

In the early hours of the morning, staff were lowering the flag to half mast when the main cord broke and the flag began to fall.

Jake Pelletier, executive director at The Victorian, rushed to catch it before it fell to the ground. While there are no laws dictating how the Canadian flag should be handled, it has become protocol to never let the flag touch the ground.

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“You’re kidding me,” he remembered saying as he rushed inside to get help.

He noted that there are several veterans of the Second World War living at the community so fixing the flag in time for the annual Remembrance Day ceremony was imperative.

“Our executive chef sent a message to his long time friend from the Saanich Fire Department and within 20 minutes, we had a ladder truck on site to help us out.”

Pelletier ran down to Home Depot to pick up a new cord and the firefighters had the flag back up in time for the ceremony.

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“It’s just fantastic what they did for us,” he said. “They saved the day for our residents.”

He noted that residents had crowded at the windows to watch and that it was “special for them to see the community come together.”

Pelletier also pointed out that the fire department typically responds when staff call for emergency medical services as The Victorian experiences various age-related health events frequently. He said the fire crews felt it was special to be there for another reason.

“It’s nice when we have a feel-good win.”


@devonscarlett
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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com