Frank Klees

Members Statement

Parliamentary Tribute to Ornge First Responders

June 3, 2013 Newmarket-Aurora MPP Frank Klees gave the following Parliamentary Tribute today in honour of the First Responders who lost their lives in the recent Ornge Air Ambulance tragedy:

Mr. Frank Klees:

I rise today with a heavy heart to pay tribute to four brave and courageous First Responders who lost their lives in the service of our air ambulance service in the early hours of Friday, May 31.

What was expected to be a routine patient transfer turned out to be a tragedy that no one in this province will ever forget. Dedicated to saving the lives of others, these four men did what thousands of  First Responders do every day throughout this province. They put themselves in harm's way to fulfill their calling in life: to protect, rescue and save others.    Speaker, on behalf of all Ontarians, I extend our heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of these four brave men:

Captain Don Filitter of Skead, Ontario. Don was the Chief Rotary Pilot for the Ministry of Natural Resources. In addition to his many qualifications, he was a Certified Flight Instructor Pilot. Over and above his role with the MNR, Don took on the life-saving responsibilities with Ornge as a medevac pilot. Our condolences to his wife Suzanne and his three children.

First Officer Jacques Dupuy of Otterburn Park, Quebec, joined Ornge in August 2012 after flying as a bush pilot in Quebec. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Josee Capuano and their two children.

Primary Care flight paramedic Dustin Dagenais of Moose Factory. He joined Ornge a year ago. He grew up in Kapuskasing, was married last summer to Josee and was the father of a 10-month-old daughter, Nevia.

Primary Care flight paramedic Chris Snowball of Burlington. He was a 38-year-old father of two. Chris had worked as a paramedic in Nova Scotia and with Wabusk air ambulance in northern Ontario. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Allie Scott, their children and family.

These brave men were truly heroes among us. Today, we pay tribute to them and their families, and we commit that we will never forget them and their colleagues who continue to selflessly serve us as First Responders throughout this province.