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Jan. 12 community session being held to help Pubnico residents deal with recent tragedy

Praying for Pubnico reads the sign outside the Calvary United Baptist Church in Woods Harbour.
Praying for Pubnico reads the sign outside the Calvary United Baptist Church in Woods Harbour. - Kathy Johnson

WEST PUBNICO, N.S. – A community information session is being held in West Pubnico Friday evening to help parents and residents of the Pubnico region deal and cope with the recent tragedy in the community.

At the Jan. 12 information session, various professionals will share information about the healing process. People have been left heartbroken by a Jan. 7 devastating house fire that claimed the lives of four young children.

A media release from the Municipality of Argyle says at the session there will also be information provided on how parents can support their children and each other. Resource information and handouts will also be available to take home.

The session gets underway at 7 p.m. at the West Pubnico fire hall.

Chris Frotten, municipal clerk for the Municipality of Argyle, says the municipality along with other partners are offering this session for the community.

“The critical incident stress management team, with the Office of the Fire Marshal, have been doing a lot with the fire departments from almost day one, doing debriefings and grief counseling and positive coping training and those type of things,” he explains. “They found it very beneficial and they appreciated it very much.”

And so a decision was made to have an open session for the community.

“We’ll have a member of the critical incident stress management team there to talk a little bit about the strategies and the way that adults that cope with these types of events,” Frotten says. “We’ll have a mental health grief counselor to talk to parents about how they can help their children cope with this event.”

A representative of the municipality will also be on hand to talk about the relief efforts that the municipality has put together, and other relief efforts that are also available. There has been a huge community groundswell of support that has come together to help the families affected by this tragic event.

Frotten says there will also be other agencies present at the session, although the won’t be speaking.

“They’ll be there just as a presence for if people want to approach them, like the Red Cross, Mental Health, those types of agencies,” he says.

It is expected the information session will run about 45 minutes, although Frotten says people will be invited to stay as long as they like.

“The entire community and all those affected by the incident are welcome and encouraged to attend,” reads the release from the municipality about the session. “The hope is that this session will also give an opportunity for the community to come together and begin the healing process.”

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