Terry Yemen, former Mayor of Drumheller, spent most of September living and working in Toronto, volunteering with the Red Cross' emergency relief arm.

"There was a number of times we could have used the Red Cross in Drumheller when we had flood victims and that. Red Deer is the central (Alberta) office, so I put in an application there and I was accepted," he related. "When they had the (Parliament Street) fire in Toronto, there's 1,300 people displaced and I came as a site manager, so I'm running one of the emergency shelters for the Red Cross."

Fire broke out in a downtown Toronto high rise apartment on August 21. Most of the residents were new Canadians from overseas, which Yemen admitted can be challenging.

"Probably 99 per cent," he told Drum FM. "Some people have come forward that speak different languages, so we're using translators and Google Translate, I've had it working too, so we were able to get our message across."

"They do get angry, but we have to explain to them that the Red Cross is here to run the centre and we are providing them with the information so they can contact (the right) people for the answers," added Yemen. "At first I think they didn't understand that, but we were able to explain that to them."

Even with the language barrier and red tape, Yemen joked it's still easier than being mayor. He's been in Toronto since September 2 and doesn't expect to be back in Drumheller until early October.

Yemen Toronto 2

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