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Mountain View County emergency management planning ongoing

Presentation on updated emergency management planning and preparations came during recent Mountain View County council meeting

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY County council has received an update on emergency management planning and preparations in the municipality and wider regional district.

Central Region field officer Brian Boutin, with Alberta Emergency Management Agency, appeared before council as a delegation at a recent council meeting, speaking to council members and answering questions.

The agency has been established under the provincial Emergency Management Act to support emergency management at the municipal level.

“I think we can all agree that climate change is happening,” he said. “What is causing it we might discuss in detail or not, but we are seeing Type 1, that is the highest ICS type of incident you can have in this province, we are seeing them every year. That’s the world we live in now and that’s why it is really important that we are able to respond and manage large incidents in our municipalities.”

Appointed by bylaw, the Moutain View County emergency advisory committee is made up of all county council members. Among other things, the committee establishes procedures that must be followed when declaring a state of local emergency.

“Mountain View is a little unique in that they also have the Mountain View Regional Emergency Agency,” he said. “You are part of a regional where everybody in Mountain View County is working together and they pass bylaws and mutual aid agreements and that is how that is formed.

“We have Cremona, Sundre, Olds, Didsdbury, Carstairs and Mountain View County all working together, training together and practising together. That is the critical importance of our regional emergency management system in Mountain View County.”

Alberta Emergency Management Agency officials meet with municipal leaders regularly to review plans, risk assessments and other related matters such as planning for tabletop and live exercises.

“We support and come in and recognize deficiencies and work with to get up to the level we need for emergency management standards,” he said.

The provincial agency can be called on during an emergency response to bring and arrange extra resources for the district if and when needed, he said.

Mitigation and training in preparation for possible emergencies is a big part of emergency preparedness in Mountain View County, he said.

Alberta Emergency Management Agency will be coming out with a new document called Alberta Incident Management System.

“Basically what it is is couple hundred page document ensuring we are using the same system throughout the province,” he said. 

Coun. Greg Harris asked, “In the province, how aligned are we now with the RCMP and municipal police forces?”

Boutin replied, “We are seeing a lot of change in our law enforcement, and that include sheriffs. We have our municipal police, we have the RCMP, we have some city police, we have sheriffs. We are seeing more law enforcement people in our training courses.” 

Council accepted Boutin’s report as information.