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Let it snow: VGH snow plow ATV finds new home in Bella Coola


L-R: Carl Harestad receiving the key to the ATV from Matthew Harraway.

What began with a question of what to do with an unused all-terrain vehicle (ATV) rigged to work as a snow plow at Vancouver General Hospital ended with the ATV, a Yamaha 550 Grizzly, finding a new home at Bella Coola General Hospital.

Tim Kelly, the new head of VCH’s Facilities Maintenance and Operations (FMO) team, had most recently been senior manager for FMO in the Coastal Community of Care and when he heard about the problem of what to do with the Vancouver-based ATV, and he knew it would be a welcome addition in Bella Coola.

Once the decision was made, in a flurry of activity, the logistics of getting the vehicle nearly 1,000 kilometres from Vancouver to Bella Coola quickly came together. Coincidentally, FMO manager Matthew Harraway was required to head to Northern BC to attend a family emergency, and he quickly coordinated the prep and load-up of the ATV into his pick-up truck. He met Bella Coola hospital maintenance coordinator Carl Harestad at a Husky parking lot in Williams Lake, where they transferred the ATV to Carl’s truck for the journey back to Bella Coola.

“Being new to VCH, this opportunity allowed me to network with my peers at different locations as well as work together with my own team to achieve a mutually beneficial common goal,” said Matthew. “It’s such a privilege contributing with like-minded people towards something that makes such a huge impact for others.”

“Looking at the photo, it gives a good sense of the environment this unit is going to – the outback for sure. The load of logs in the background came out of Bella Coola yesterday and arrived just minutes before me,” noted Carl. “Thanks to Matthew and all the others involved with this – it will be greatly appreciated.”

Carl jokes, “But if I’d known about this photo op, I would have had my truck all washed up, like Matthew did.”

Carl - ATV.jpg

“It was washed by Lower Mainland rain,” says Matthew, with a laugh.

With lots of time on the road to think, Matthew reflected on how this journey aligned with VCH’s new strategic direction and a poem came together in his mind:

“Two hospital departments, two geographically different locations, two aligned priorities for greater good, two determined strangers driving two different highways from the Pacific Ocean, one sound coordinated effort, one tailgate transfer, one united friendship, one proud moment … OneVCH.”

“This was a great example of our team across the organization coming together and turning a problem into an opportunity,” says Tim Kelly. “I’d like to acknowledge and thank Carl Harestad, Matthew Harraway, Greg Smith, Ron Schurko, Colin Dugan, George Ng and Rudy Gill for helping make this happen so quickly and efficiently.”

The vehicle is now ready and waiting for snowfall. It will clear foot paths and parking areas at Bella Coola General Hospital making these areas safer and more convenient for patients, visitors, and staff and physicians.

SOURCE: Let it snow: VGH snow plow ATV finds new home in Bella Coola ( )
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