After a local wildfire fighter was critically injured in a motorcycle crash on May 15, his coworkers rallied to start a GoFundMe campaign for him and his family.
Brayden Forsyth, 23, who was injured in a crash on Highway 97, is a seasonal worker with the Blackwater unit crew in Quesnel.
The crash saw the highway closed in both directions for a short time, and Quesnel RCMP as well as North District Traffic Services attended the scene.
Forsyth lost control of his Suzuki motorcycle near Hixon while travelling south. RCMP said at the time they believe speed was a factor in the crash.
After the accident, Forsyth was flown by helicopter to Vancouver General, where he spent time in the intensive care unit. Now conscious, he is doing well, but is still in the ICU and a family member says he will be in hospital for a while yet.
Mark Hamm, the Deputy Fire Centre Manager at the Cariboo Fire Centre in Williams Lake, started the GoFundMe on May 21. He says the idea for the campaign really came from Forsyth’s crew, who were out fighting wildfires in Prince George.
“I’m just the guy who is here in the office down in Williams Lake who has access to the computer and can make it happen. But it’s his crew who’s right behind him,” says Hamm.
Forsyth is a seasonal worker, which means he doesn’t have the same benefits as other government employees. Hamm says Forsyth and his partner also recently bought a house, and they would have to depend solely on her income to pay the mortgage. On top of that, Hamm says that it’s going to get expensive for his family to stay in Vancouver with him.
Although Hamm believed the family would likely need $10,000 or $15,000, he set the original goal for the GoFundMe at $5,000, because he “didn’t want to appear greedy.”
Now, the campaign has surpassed $11,000 and is a trending campaign on GoFundMe.
Hamm reiterates Forsyth’s crew has really been the driving force behind the campaign.
“They’ve really taken this to heart. I know they had a real hard time when he didn’t show up to work that day. They’re deployed right now to fires in Prince George but I know they’re thinking about it all the time, and of course, they’ve donated in a big way to the Go Fund Me.”