13 Jul 2016
By MWO John Pereira
During the RCAF Run held at 17 Wing Winnipeg on June 5th, a medical emergency was communicated to the Wing Fire Hall for a patient who had collapsed during the 10K run. This person was transitioning back and forth from being responsive to unresponsive. Blue Crew, consisting of Master Corporal Nelson Nordstrom, Corporal Ryan Moore and Cpl Brandon Terry, was on duty and responded to the emergency and assisted in stabilizing the patient. Unbeknownst to the response crew at the time, the patient in question was Brigadier General (USAF) Chad Manske, the Deputy Commander, Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Region, and Deputy Combined/Joint Force Air Component Commander.
The Wing Fire Chief remembered a part of his QL6A Supervisor course in 2006 where he listened to a Civilian Fire Chief speak on leadership in the Fire Service and cited an example of a lost tradition of having victims or their families being a part of any Fire Fighter awards or promotion ceremonies to add to the meaningfulness of the event. As the Wing Fire Chief was on hand at the RCAF Run also, a light went off in his head as the three members were due for promotion effective June 30th.
After consultation with the Brigadier General’s Executive Assistant, Captain (USAF) Christine Forbes, a promotion ceremony was scheduled for June 29th at the Wing Fire Hall, and the Brigadier General graciously and without hesitation, accepted the invitation to preside over the promotions of the very three members who came to his aid. This plan was not known by anyone at the Fire Hall and would be a surprise for those in attendance. Right on cue, BGen Manske surprised the trio when room was called and entered the Fire Hall to conduct the promotion ceremony.
It was a unique opportunity to not only promote the three members but to acknowledge their direct impact on the lives of fellow military members, and in this case, on one of another allied nation working as a CAF partner with NORAD. Congratulations to newly promoted Fire Fighters, Sgt Nelson Nordstrom, MCpl Ryan Moore and MCpl Brandon Terry.