Short-term emergency co-ordinator OKed

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County and two neighbouring towns are joining forces to create a short-term regional emergency management co-ordinator.
At its budget meeting April 20, council allocated $10,000 in the final 2022 operating budget for a co-ordinator position which will also serve the Town of High Prairie and the Town of Swan Hills.
As part of the regional emergency management project, consultant Sea Hawk Services recommended to the emergency management advisory committee that the partners consider a co-ordinator position, Pat Olansky, director of planning and development, told council.
All three partners agreed to create the position for a one-year trial on a part-time basis, one day per week.
“A co-ordinator is the most effective way for the three partners to maintain municipal requirements in the Emergency Management Act, manage the regional partnership and be able to work together collaboratively and consistently in the event of the emergency,” Olansky said.
All partners have committed $10,000 in their 2022 operating budgets.
While both High Prairie and Swan Hills allocated funding in their interim budgets, the county’s $10,000 was inadvertently omitted in the interim budget, Olansky noted.
CAO Jordan Panasiuk said High Prairie will be the managing partner unless circumstances change.
“It would be easier to have one person do the duties,” Olansky said.
Currently, the work is done by the committee.
The primary responsibilities for the co-ordinator will be to:
-Update, maintain, and co-ordinate the regional emergency management plan;
-Inform the REM committee about emergency management activities and schedule required meetings;
-Maintain the regional emergency management centre’s readiness for to activate in an emergency;
-Asist with operating the ECC as required during an emergency;
-Ensure emergency management programs are maintained according to legislation, industry standards and best practices;
-Co-ordinate all training and exercises.
-Identify and gather information on critical sites throughout the plan’s services region.

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