On April 14 the Kitimat Emergency Program held an emergency response exercise, involving District of Kitimat, Kitimat Fire Department, RCMP, Ministry of Forests personnel and a number of volunteers. The exercise, held in the Emergency Operations Center in the Fire Hall, gave those attending an opportunity to put into practice some of the knowledge gained in training sesssions held over the past year and a half.
The scenario used in the exercise was a wildfire that grew into an interface fire resulting in the evacuation of residents on several streets.
An Emergency Operations Center is activated to provide support to responders in the field while they are handling a significant emergency or a disaster. Emergency Operations Center (EOC) personnel collect and analyze data, provide resources and make strategic decisions to protect lives and property.
The Kitimat EOC would normally be staffed by municipal employees and lead by the Municipal Manager or his designate, drawing on technical expertise from other sources as needed. When a local EOC is activated, it is supported the Provincial Regional Emergency Operations Center in Terrace and the Provincial Emergency Coordination Center in Victoria.
While the various government levels are prepared to respond to a serious threat to the community, it is the responsibility of all residents to have an emergency kit stocked with enough supplies to last at least 3 days.
For information on personal emergency preparedness go to the District of Kitimat website, http://www.kitimat.ca/
or the Emergency Management BC website www.pep.bc.ca
Information will also be available at the Community Health & Safety Fair being held at Riverlodge April 30 from 11am to 3pm.