Employees Honoured for Response

Department of Transportation and Public Works (to Oct. 23 2007)

June 24, 1999 3:40 PM

Clifford Huskilson, Minister of Transportation and Public Works,
formally recognized 129 departmental employees at a ceremony in
Halifax today for their efforts after the crash of Swissair
Flight 111.

"Since becoming minister of this department, I have been amazed
by the dedication and professionalism of the employees. No single
event illustrates this better than the Swissair operation," said
Mr. Huskilson. "Our line employees - truck drivers, field staff,
carpenters, plumbers and electricians - were the backbone of
this operation. It was led and handled by employees; they got the
job done."

Within hours of the crash on September 2, employees began
building the facilities required by the province's medical
examiner, RCMP and Transportation Safety Board investigators.

Autopsy rooms were designed as they were erected. Evidence
trailers were refit to dry possessions recovered at the crash
site. Inventory control staff collected the material, furniture
and equipment that investigators needed on site.

Some employees drove for Swissair families, while others offered
their homes, food, and most importantly, their support. Employees
moved airplane wreckage, gathered equipment and supplies, and
later in the fall, fabricated a full-size mock-up of the MD-11
cockpit for crash investigators at the department's welding shop
in Miller Lake.

"The initial response, the cohesive team, the tireless dedication
of staff working around the clock was truly impressive, and at
times moving," said Chris Moir, Transportation and Public Works'
link to the Emergency Measures Organization.

Mr. Huskilson presented each individual with a pewter pin, while
three divisions were awarded plaques for their group
contribution. The symbol for the award is the Carrick bend, a
seafaring knot considered to be highly reliable, strong and

The 1945 Ashley Book of Knots offers a description of the symbol
"A bend is a knot that unites two ropes. Its purpose is to
lengthen the rope. The Carrick bend is perhaps the nearest thing
we have to a perfect bend. It is symmetrical. It is easy to tie.
It doesn't slip easily in wet material. It is among the strongest
of knots. It cannot jam and is readily untied."


Contact: Susan MacLeod
         Department of Transportation and Public Works
         E-mail: macleosu@gov.ns.ca

arc                      June 24, 1999              3:40 p.m.