Mock exercise prepares for worst

Big Lakes Regional Emergency Management Partnership staged a mock emergency exercise with the emergency command centre at Big Lakes County administration building. From second left-right, are director of emergency management Pat Olansky, scribe Kimberly Moore, liaison section chief Brian Martinson and operations section chief Vic Abel.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Wildfires sparked by a train travelling through the High Prairie area caused many people to be evacuated during a mock emergency exercise May 9 for the Big Lakes Regional Emergency Management Partnership.
More than 60 personnel and 12 organizations gathered at the Big Lakes County administration building in an exercise in the regional emergency management program with Big Lakes, the Town of High Prairie and the Town of Swan Hills.
“The exercise was a measured development of a dry hot spring day with a CN train moving through the regional communities, causing fires, evacuations, structure protection and many challenging issues in its wake,” says Pat Olansky, director of emergency management.”
ATCO, Prairie River Gas Co-op, Alberta Health Services, High Prairie School Division, Holy Family Catholic Regional Division, KTC Tribal Council, Alberta Emergency Management Agency, Alberta Transportation, Lesser Slave Regional Fire Service and Sea Hawk fire services consultants worked with the three municipalities to implement the incident command centre [ICS].
The ICS is a standardize onsite management system designed to enable effective, efficient management by integrating a combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures and communications operating within a common organizational structure, Olansky says.
Under the provincial Local Authority Emergency Management Regulation, local authorities must complete a functional exercise within four years from Jan. 1, 2020 and at least once every four years after the regulation is in force.

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