“It shows you can never be too prepared,” said Matt Haarsma, Gas Operations Customer Service. “The emergency preparedness training I’ve taken as a lifeguard and at Manitoba Hydro for emergency scenarios – all of that training really pays off when you are in a real-life situation. You know exactly how to approach the situation and your response just kicks in.”
In November 2021, Matt was recognized by the Lifesaving Society, who awarded him the M.G. Griffiths Award, and a rescue commendation to his father-in-law Myron Moszynski, for their rescue of a man and his dog in the summer of 2019.
The rescue occurred on Lac Lu during a fishing trip, when Matt and Myron saw winds and waves flip over a fellow boater.
“We threw our rods down and pinned it across the lake as fast as we could go, there wasn’t even any thought,” said Matt. “As we approached, my emergency training just kicked in. I knew that we had to be careful how to get the man into our boat, so we don’t all get pulled in and make the situation more dangerous.”
Not only were Matt and Myron able to safely rescue the man, but also his dog.
In addition to the recognition by the Lifesaving Society, Matt has received a bronze cross for bravery from the Royal Canadian Humane Association.
“The honours are really nice, but it’s also good karma to help others when you can,” Matt said.