Paramedic killed in air ambulance crash remembered in Cape Breton community
Published Tuesday, June 4, 2013 6:55PM ADT
One of four paramedics killed in a horrific air ambulance crash in Ontario is being remembered as a familiar face in the Cape Breton community where he worked for ten years.
Chris Snowball is being described as a tireless volunteer who made a big impression in his adopted home of Baddeck.
“His infamous grin was our biggest thing I think,” says Charlene Ivany, Snowball’s former mother-in-law. “You rarely saw a picture where that didn’t show through.”
Chris was one of four people killed when the air ambulance in which they were travelling crashed in Northern Ontario.
The married father of three was just 38 years old. Tuesday would have been his 39th birthday.
“When the actual news came out that there were no survivors, then it really, it took us all really hard,” says Ivany.
Before moving to Ontario in 2008, Snowball served 10 years at the EHS branch in Baddeck. His former co-workers remember him as a passionate paramedic who made a difference and an impact with people in the community.
“Everybody in the community knew him,” says former co-worker Gerald Dunlop.
“Over the last three or four days I’ve had many phone calls from the many friends he made here, many paramedics he worked with and people in the community. Even some calls from the Yukon, from people who worked with him here in Baddeck.
Snowball was well known in the community not only for his job as a paramedic, but also for his volunteer efforts. He was a volunteer firefighter for several years and served as a minor hockey referee.
Fire Chief Ernest Roberts says Snowball was an especially valuable firefighter because of his paramedic experience.
“I know as chief, I often really appreciated having him on scene, with his medical background,” says Roberts.
Paramedic and firefighter honour guards will fill St. Michael’s Church in Baddeck at 2 p.m. on June 15.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ryan MacDonald