Mike Fournier is retiring after nearly two decades as co-ordinator of the Comox Valley Emergency Program.

Coffee with … Mike Fournier

After nearly 20 years of volunteer service, Mike Fournier is retiring at the end of December as co-ordinator of the Comox Valley Emergency Program.

More than 100 volunteers comprise the program, which includes Search and Rescue, Emergency Support Service and a radio/communications group. A lifetime member, Fournier will continue with CVEP in some capacity, perhaps tending to the building on Moray Avenue or looking after radios, batteries and other equipment.

The program’s biggest search lasted two weeks last year when Sylvia Apps went missing while hiking in Strathcona Park.

“Every other search was successful,” said Fournier who, along with Ruth Masters, founded the Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue (CVGSAR) in the early-70s.

Back then, he was the ski patrol supervisor at Forbidden Plateau. A night search for a missing person prompted the idea to form a search and rescue team. Fournier recalls the first search was for a mental patient who went missing from hospital.

The organization was incorporated in 1974.

“We were the first ground search and rescue society in B.C.”

Over the years, the society has grown from 10 to 50-plus members. It’s one of the busiest teams in the province, averaging 35 searches a year.

After Forbidden closed, Fournier initiated the volunteer ski patrol at Mount Washington.

“I was the first one to get caught in an avalanche at Mount Washington,” said Fournier, who was buried in about six feet of snow. He suffered a broken femur and spent a month in hospital.

Fournier was ski cutting when the avalanche occurred. He recalls hitting three trees during the run.

“That’s what stopped me from going to the bottom,” he said. “The next day they ordered dynamite.”

In 1978, Fournier opened Mountain Meadows Sports in downtown Courtenay. His business partner was Ed Schum, whom he knew from Mount Washington.

“I sold my business to take this job (CVEP co-ordinator),” said Fournier, who hails from Quebec City.

Before entering the sporting goods business, he had a career in the Armed Forces. Fournier was first stationed in Cold Lake, Alta. — where he met his wife, Linda, and where “50 below is not unusual.” He transferred to Montreal before moving to the Comox Valley in 1969.

He and Linda live in Courtenay. They have two sons.

Fournier hopes to play a bit of golf in his retirement.

“I can stand the par threes,” he said.

 

Just Posted

NIC brings Likʷala/Kwak’wala and Nuu-chah-nulth language courses to campus

NIC will offer introductory Likʷala /Kwak’wala and Nuu-chah-nulth language courses in Campbell… Continue reading

VIDEO: 2018 Everybody Deserves a Smile campaign packaging day

Students from throughout the Comox Valley come to Ecole Puntledge Park to help the less fortunate

Greenwood Trunk sewer line construction complete

An important stretch of new sewer line diverting wastewater from East Courtenay… Continue reading

Valley student’s passion project helping Cumberland forest

It took a little while for Frederica Blouin-Comeau to find her passion… Continue reading

Emailed bomb threat triggers heavy police presence at Comox Valley RV

Heavy police presence could be seen at Comox Valley RV on Ryan… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

Increase in downed power lines in B.C., how to stay safe

BC Hydro study finds a third of British Columbians may be putting themselves at risk

Judge sets bail at $2.5 million in 1987 slaying of B.C. couple

William Talbott II, 55, is charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder

EU leaders vow to press on with ‘no-deal’ Brexit plans

European Union leaders have offered Theresa May sympathy but no promises, as the British prime minister seeks a lifeline.

Powerful winds set to hit Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island

The agency says winds in coastal areas will strengthen up to 70 kilometres an hour before the front moves inland and gusts reach 90 kilometres an hour.

Mandatory victim surcharge cruel and unusual punishment, top court rules

Stephen Harper’s Conservative government made the charges mandatory in 2013.

Tourism minister postpones trip to China amid tensions between two countries

Tourism Minister Melanie Joly’s office says Canada and China have mutually agreed to postpone a closing ceremony next week.

Police across Canada probe bomb threats as U.S. authorities dismiss ‘hoax’

A police spokesman said the emails were the same as those received elsewhere in North America

France shooter killed Thursday during police operation

7 more being held by police in shooting investigation

Most Read