Local companies helping clean up Calgary

Like many people in Calgary, Jason Hamer and Chris Buckman have been spending long hours fighting back the flood.

Like many people in Calgary, Jason Hamer and Chris Buckman have been spending long hours fighting back the flood.

Only Hamer and Buckman pack more powerful punches than most others who are battling the water.

Hamer has four, six-inch diesel-driven pumps at his disposal and Buckman is sporting a pair of 1.5-million-BTU flameless heaters.

Hamer is a partner in Rusch Equipment Inc., a pump and fluid management company located on Red Deer’s northern outskirts.

And Buckman is president of Ignite Frac Services Inc., a Calgary oilfield company with its main shop in Red Deer.

Each of the businesses dispatched a half-dozen workers and equipment to the flooded neighbourhood of Sunnyside on the weekend.

There, and in other residential areas, they’ve been pumping water off streets and out of basements, and drying out homes.

Hamer said Rusch’s pumps have been going non-stop since they were first deployed on Sunday.

“We estimated that we pumped out 3.36 million gallons in that one 14-hour period.”

Buckman said his heaters have also been humming.

“Since we started they haven’t stopped.”

The workers operating that equipment have also been running flat out.

“I think they went close to 38 hours straight before they had an hour of sleep,” said Buckman.

“We’ve been running on adrenaline a little bit. We’re just going to keep going as long as we can.”

When the opportunity for rest does arise, the crews don’t go far.

“We’ve just been sleeping in our trucks when we can get a little nap,” said Hamer.

But the fatigue has been worth it, agree the two men.

“I’ve had phone calls saying we were the angels,” said Buckman.

That gratitude was evident the moment the crews from Red Deer arrived, convoy-style, at the first water-logged neighbourhood.

“There were people hugging each other and there were crowds around us helping us get rigged up,” said Hamer.

“They haven’t stopped being grateful.”

Buckman, who owns Ignite with former Calgary Flame Rhett Warrener, became aware of the urgency of the situation when his own basement flooded on Friday. He and Warrener agreed to do what they could to help.

Meanwhile, Hamer and his partner Jeff Worth were trying unsuccessfully to contact emergency planning personnel in Calgary to pledge their own support. Because Ignite and Rusch work closely in the field, it was quickly agreed to stage a joint campaign.

Hamer said he was stunned by what he saw when he arrived in Calgary.

“Some of these houses, the water has come up almost to the roof.

“It’s like a war zone.”

Buckman, who played for the Red Deer College Kings hockey team from 1993 to 1995 and has maintained connections with the college and Red Deer, said the two crews are helping out anyway they can.

They see the impact their having, but realize there’s still a lot of work to be done, said Hamer.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The union representing workers at the Olymel meat processing plant in Red Deer confirmed the death of a worker on Wednesday. (Advocate file photo)
Union confirms death of worker from Olymel plant

An investigation by the UFCW 401 local has confirmed a fourth death… Continue reading

Sunterra Market is preparing to open at Bower Place. (Photo from Facebook)
Sunterra Market to open in Red Deer in March

Bower Place to welcome grocery shoppers

Weather brief (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Red Deer experiences driest winter in 99 years

The city only had 9.6 millimeters of precipitation between December and February

The number of positive cases of COVID-19 has been climbing up since Jan. 20 at Red Deer's Olymel meat processing plant. (File photo by Advocate Staff)
Some Olymel workers return for training, plant reopening date not set

Union calls for delay of opening as workers fear for safety

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, March 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservative MP David Sweet joins chorus calling for end to COVID-19 restrictions

OTTAWA — A Conservative MP has joined the chorus of voices calling… Continue reading

The Onslow Belmont Fire Brigade is seen in Lower Onslow, N.S., Wednesday, April 22, 2020. The RCMP says two officers who fired towards a civilian and another RCMP officer during last year’s mass shooting will remain on administrative duties until internal inquiries are completed .THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
N.S. RCMP who shot at firehall on administrative duty during internal reviews of case

HALIFAX — The RCMP says two officers who fired towards a civilian… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. Efforts to increase Canada's ability to produce vaccines is among over 100 projects receiving new federal money. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Over 100 new projects to get $518 million in federal research funding

OTTAWA — Efforts to boost Canada’s ability to produce vaccines are among… Continue reading

Hassan Diab, whose allegations of involvement in a 1980 synagogue bombing were dismissed by French judges for lack of evidence, listens during a press release on the release of an external review on his extradition by the Justice Department on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Friday, July 26, 2019. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is signalling that Canada will stand up for Diab, an Ottawa sociology professor facing trial in France, following calls from human-rights advocates to intervene. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Trudeau signals support for Hassan Diab as Ottawa professor appeals case in France

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is signalling Canada will stand up… Continue reading

NDP MP Niki Ashton stands during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday, April 26, 2018. Two prominent Jewish advocacy groups are voicing anti-Semitism concerns ahead of a public conversation between NDP MP Niki Ashton and former U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Jewish groups raise anti-Semitism concerns ahead of NDP MP’s chat with Corbyn

OTTAWA — Two prominent Jewish advocacy groups are voicing concerns about anti-Semitism… Continue reading

Major-General Dany Fortin, left, looks on as Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. The Public Health Agency of Canada has set aside up to $5 billion to pay for COVID-19 vaccines. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Public Health Agency of Canada budgets $5B for COVID-19 vaccines, treatments

OTTAWA — The Public Health Agency of Canada expects to spend up… Continue reading

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed optimism Wednesday that his government’s timeline for… Continue reading

UCP MLA for Lacombe-Ponoka Ron Orr. (File photo)
MLA Ron Orr: Benchmarks were achieved but goalposts were moved

Orr responds to concerns, calls on province to fully open Step 2

Most Read