Red Deer County News

Posted on: June 29, 2017

Operation Good Neighbour

Operation Good Neighbour (1)

Mock Disaster Scenario trains Regional Emergency Management Partners

There was a flurry of activity at the Innisfail Fire Hall on Thursday, June 29, as Regional Emergency Management Partners were put to the test in “Operation Good Neighbour”. A mock tornado training scenario prepared the region’s emergency management and protective services teams with a valuable experience-building opportunity.

“Operation Good Neighbour” allowed the recently assembled Regional Emergency Management Team to activate an Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) and a remote Incident Command Post (ICP), manage a number of major mock emergency scenarios including collapsed buildings, electrical fires, gas leaks, power outages, significant injuries, and communications difficulties, and activate a Reception Centre for displaced residents.

As would be the case in an actual disaster, many partners were involved, including Emergency Management team members from Red Deer County, Sylvan Lake, Bowden, Innisfail, and Delburne, as well as the RCMP, Alberta Health Services, and municipal representatives like Mayor of Bowden Robb Stuart, CAO of Bowden James Mason, Mayor of Innisfail Brian Spiller, and Red Deer County Councillor Don Church. Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) representatives oversaw the exercise and provided insight. Local media and volunteers also participated and helped make this exercise a valuable training opportunity.

Red Deer County Council approved a recommendation on May 9, 2017 for Red Deer County to participate in, and be managing partner of, a Regional Emergency Management Plan along with Delburne, Elnora, Bowden, Innisfail, Penhold, and Sylvan Lake. “Operation Good Neighbour” served as the first training opportunity to test response and management elements of this regional plan.

According to Assistant County Manager Ric Henderson, “Having a common Municipal Emergency Plan will allow us as a region to work seamlessly in times of disaster. When large events occur, they do not recognize political boundaries, hence the requirement for us all to work collectively to deal with situations. Training with our Regional Partners allows us to strengthen our ability to respond to incidents of all types.”

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