Aug. 4 was just another ordinary day for Rob Cammidge, a long time Neilburg resident, who was working in the Caltex Energy Field Office, located about three kilometres north of Maidstone.
And then, at approximately 10:30 a.m., the unthinkable happened. An oilfield gas leak quickly led to an explosion and a fire on site.
Cammidge was rescued from the building by members of the Maidstone Fire Department and was treated by EMS there, before being taken to Saskatoon for further care. He was later transported to Edmonton for specialized burn care.
As news of Rob's accident and the extent of his injuries became known, many community members wanted to do something tangible to assist the family in their "hour of need."
A potluck supper and silent auction was organized for Sept. 10 in the Neilburg Community Hall.
The organizers were not disappointed, when on the night, cars lined the main street outside of the hall. It is estimated that there were between 500 and 600 people attended. In addition to the silver collection at the door, a silent auction was also held. Helping to auction off the various items were Bruce McFadyen, Kelly Shreenan and Lorne Fell.
Stephanie Gibbons, one of the organizers, says, "Rob and Rhonda were very overwhelmed by the show of support from the people of Neilburg, Marsden, and the surrounding areas. The generosity of everyone was amazing. A substantial amount of money was raised and will go a long ways to helping them through the tough times they have ahead."
The family later hung posters up on various bulletin boards around town. The message reads, in part, "A huge thank you to all involved in the Cammidge Family Benefit and Silent Auction. The generosity and compassion of everyone has been amazing, all the cards, notes and visits to Rob in the hospital are very much appreciated. We will hold a special part of each and every one of you in our hearts forever. Rob has now been moved to the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital to begin the next step in this long journey of recovery and this outpouring of support has been a real motivator and inspiration to him to work harder to overcome the obstacles that he now faces."
It is hoped Rob may be able to come home later this month and be able to continue his rehabilitation treatments, several times per week, in Lloydminster. The couple have three children - Carl, Courtney and Carter.