Nearly two decades after leaving Creston, Blake Elford is returning home to take on the position of Unit Chief for Creston’s ambulance service.
Elford takes over from Lindy Ek, who hired him 18 years ago at the Creston station.
“I’m more than excited to be chosen as Lindy’s successor,” he said on Wednesday.
Since leaving Creston, Elford has worked his way through occupational first aid certification, emergency medical assistant, primary care paramedic and emergency management courses. He was also trained as an auxiliary RCMP, following in the footsteps of his dad, Jim, a long-time insurance agency owner and now a Creston Town Councillor. His mother, Teresa, is a retired parole officer.
Elford said his education is ongoing.
“I continue to pursue opportunities where I see them in emergency management and basic urban and ground search and rescue.”
Elford previously worked in Calgary in an emergency dispatch centre, with the 9-1-1 service in Cranbrook, and with BC Emergency Health Services in the Lower Mainland. His work as a BC Ambulance Service unit chief began in Fort Nelson and then continued in Princeton, Fernie and, most recently, Kimberley.
He jumped at the opportunity to return to Creston and brings with him a wealth of experience.
“I have helped birth babies, reversed narcotic overdoses, pulled people from car wrecks, air crashes, collapsed buildings, oceans, and rivers, and have been in some of the most beautiful locations in the country,” he said.
Elford says he looks forward to fostering connections in Creston, especially with first responders, the medical community, and the Valley’s residents. He also wants to acknowledge the hard work of acting Unit Chief April Bibby, who has been running the station until he officially arrives in early September.
A priority will be to reconnect with his hometown and to encourage young people to consider a career in the emergency health field.
“I look forward to building relationships in the community with the Fire Department, RCMP, doctors, nurses, search and rescue, care facilities, and residents,” he said. “I have an open door policy so please feel free to drop in.”
The Creston Ambulance Service office is located on 10th Avenue North, on the same property as the fire hall.