06/01/2013 12:19 EDT | Updated 08/01/2013 05:12 EDT

Ont. Helicopter Crash Victim Was 'Brave,' 'Courageous'


One of the victims of Friday’s deadly helicopter crash in Northern Ontario is being remembered in Cape Breton.

Chris Snowball, a 38-year-old primary care flight paramedic from Burlington, Ont., worked as a paramedic in Ontario and Nova Scotia for the past 19 years.

He was one of two paramedics and two pilots who perished after their helicopter crashed shortly after flying out of Moosonee, Ont. early Friday morning.

The team was making a routine flight to Attawapiskat to pick up a patient in a Sikorsky S76 helicopter operated by Ornge, Ontario’s air ambulance.

Snowball worked in the Baddeck area for about 20 years. His former colleague Max Taylor said he made quite an impression in the years he spent in Nova Scotia.

“He’s going to be remembered as brave, courageous — I mean he touched a lot of people’s lives when he was in Nova Scotia and I’m sure in the past five years in Ontario, he’s done the same up there,” said Taylor.

“It’s sad. It’s a sad day for paramedics in Cape Breton, paramedics in Nova Scotia and paramedics across Canada.”

Snowball worked in Cape Breton From 1998 to 2008. He leaves behind three children.

The helicopter, one of six Sikorsky S76 choppers in Ornge's fleet, was built in 1980 and was certified by Transport Canada, Dr. Andrew McCallum, president and CEO of Ornge said at an afternoon news conference Friday.

Ornge's five remaining S76 helicopters have been taken out of service for the time being, out of an "abundance of caution," he added.

McCallum said Ornge does not yet have any details on what happened before the helicopter crashed, adding that Transportation Safety Board officials are on the scene and the search for the aircraft's cockpit voice recorder is underway.

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