Municipalities successfully train for ice storm emergency

Cobourg, ON – March 13, 2015 – Three local municipalities and the County successfully tackled a mock ice storm emergency today as part of annual emergency response training mandated by the province.

Through this table-top exercise—organized by Fleming College Emergency Management Program students—participants from the Township of Alnwick/ Haldimand, the Municipality of Brighton, the Township of Cramahe and Northumberland County worked through scenarios designed to simulate a real life event.  

As in a real emergency, each municipality activated their Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), where officials managed overall response. This included teams dedicated to addressing operational issues such as power outages, roads maintenance and closures, logistics and resource-gathering requirements, agency and partner liaising, and finance, administration and internal planning responsibilities. 

Community Emergency Management Coordinators (CEMCs) from each municipality confirmed that this was a successful learning opportunity that built upon previous training and key practices, reinforcing important skill sets so that staff is prepared to address a real emergency. 

As Emergency Preparedness Week approaches in May, residents are reminded to take steps to ensure household readiness for an emergency by having a 72-Hour Kit and a family emergency plan readily available. Information and resources to help prepare these items are available on the municipal and County websites. 

QUOTES 

· "Fleming Emergency Management Program (EMP) Students wish to express their appreciation to the participating municipalities for this opportunity to design, conduct and evaluate this challenging exercise. Just as this training is beneficial for municipal staff, these real life scenarios help prepare the EMP graduates for the expectations of future employers.” - Rod Manley, Emergency Management Program Coordinator, Fleming College  

· “Participating in this mock emergency exercise prepared members of the Alnwick/Haldimand EOC to co-ordinate an action plan that would lead the Township and its residents through a life-threatening emergency situation successfully. This year, the challenge involved a major ice storm enabling the team to experience a Township-wide crisis affecting the everyday lives of all our residents. I thank all those involved for their hard work and commitment.” - John Logel, Mayor, Township of Alnwick/Haldimand   

· “This was an excellent learning experience for our Community Control Group. The scenario that was presented to our group and those of our neighbours was a very realistic possibility for this area. Our team rose to the occasion and the quick, decisive actions taken by our municipality would have saved our residents considerable hardship while maintaining normal routines as much as possible. The residents of the Municipality of Brighton can have great confidence in the level of training that was accomplished today.” - Lloyd Hutchinson, Fire Chief/ CEMC, Municipality of Brighton 

· “It is critically important for the safety of our residents that we are ever-vigilant in being prepared for coping with a possible emergency. These emergency exercises present a wonderful opportunity to test our systems and procedures and are a great benefit to all involved.” - Marc Coombs, Mayor, Township of Cramahe and Warden, Northumberland County. 

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