Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/7/2015 (1542 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Two decades to the day after a pair of volunteer paramedics died responding to an emergency call outside Beausejour, they were remembered.
And the 200 paramedics and Beausejour community members who gathered to remember 41-year-old Keith Duncan Barrie and 28-year-old Manuel Alberto Cuadros also showed the families of the men they haven’t been forgotten.
Eric Glass, of the Paramedic Association of Manitoba, said the Manitoba Paramedic Honour Guard and the Beausejour Brokenhead Fire Department organized the memorial service for the two paramedics at the Brokenhead River Community Hall, the parade to the St. Mary Roman Catholic Cemetery, and the laying of wreaths at the gravesites of Barrie and Cuadros.
"There were 200 in attendance and about 100 were paramedics," Glass said on Monday.
"There were six Honour Guard members, multiple members of both the Cuadros and Barrie families, and many, many community members... (the families) thanked the community and the organizers for remembering them."
Honour Guard Drill Sgt. Patrick McInness said in a statement that "it’s important to remember their sacrifice."
"Keith and Manuel were serving their community and lost their lives trying to save another."
Glass said both families declined media interviews.
Barrie and Cuadros, accompanied by 20-year-old attendant Kimberly Leanne Suttorp, had just left the hospital in Beausejour on their way to an emergency call when they were struck by a semi-trailer just outside town on July 27, 1995.
Barrie, who was driving, was killed, while Cuadros died two days later in hospital. Suttorp was taken to Beausejour Hospital in good condition.
Barrie was survived by his wife and two sons while Cuadros, who had immigrated to Canada from Colombia in 1989, left behind his wife and two sons, aged six years old and 14 months at the time.
Harris’s widow Edna Barrie, attended Monday’s memorial.
"I feel services such as the 20th anniversary memorial not only pays recognition to my husband, Keith, and his partner, Manual Cuadros, it also acknowledges the dedication and bravery of all who serve us; ambulance, fire department, military, police and so on. These are men and women who commit their lives in helping us every day. They are to be commended," she said in an email to the Free Press.
"This memorial is a reminder of the dangers each member faces every time they put on their uniform and go to work. We, the public, take all these services for granted. They get paid for what they do and we pay for the service. Most of us never realize how venerable our saviours and protectors are. They are not amended to the dangers lurking on our highways in the streets and at work."
When not volunteering as paramedics, Barrie worked for Manitoba Hydro while Cuadros worked for First Class Transportation.
Glass said the ambulance service is now operated by the Interlake Eastern Regional Health Authority, and paramedics are paid employees, but at the time of the tragedy both men were volunteering for the Beausejour Ambulance Service. He said both also volunteered for the Beausejour Brokenhead Fire Department.
"It seems even more tragic when you see they were volunteers and lost their lives trying to save someone else’s life," he said.
Glass said 20 years later he still remembers learning about the tragedy.
"Emergency services are a pretty tight knit community and it didn’t take long for the news to spread," he said.
"It was a shock to everybody at the time."
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.