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REPORTING · 14th May 2014
Walter McFarlane
The former City Council Chambers at the Public Safety Building have had a makeover. On Tuesday, May 13th, the Emergency Operations Center was officially opened on the upper level of the Public Safety Building.

“We have always needed to be prepared and, up until now, we’ve shared the room at the fire hall as an Emergency Operations Center, and the opportunity came up for a fixed place to work out of and it just made sense to try and develop it because with the expected industries coming in, it’s much better to have a location where we can work in comfort and invite industry to join us,” said Bob McLeod, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for the Municipality of Kitimat.

McLeod said they are holding monthly meetings with the industries to talk about emergency Management issues. They are trying to keep ahead of things because everything is changing monthly. Each industry has its own emergency plan, but the coordination would take place in the EOC with the assistance of Kitimat’s volunteers.

The room can accommodate up to 15 people and everything is portable, just in case the building is compromised. The back-up EOC is in the Municipal Office.

“I think the community should be really proud of the work that was done here on behalf of Council and the administration and the fire department. It certainly should increase people’s confidence that they will be helped if something bad happens,” said McLeod.

He wants to remind everyone they need to be prepared to be self-sufficient for a minimum of 72 hours to a week.

In addition to the opening of the office, it was also a chance for LNG Canada to make a donation of $51,000 towards the communications for the Technical Rescue Command vehicle which the Fire Department is purchasing. The truck will be a huge part of the EOC.