Support enhanced for disasters

Richard Froese
South Peace News
Big Lakes County has joined an emergency resource group to call on for relief during a major disaster.

At its regular meeting Oct. 26, council approved a staff recommendation to enter the Northwest Alberta Emergency Resource Agreement.

“If we have a disaster anything like the wildfires in Slave Lake and Fort McMurray, we can call on resources from other communities,” fire chief Leo Tobin says.

“With this is place, we can have support at our finger tips.
“We would have a lot of equipment and firefighters.”

Tobin says the partnership allows outside support when local resources are insufficient and provides relief for local firefighters and other emergency personnel.

“The benefits of joining are that it is multi-agency and multi-community and it provides depth to emergency plans,” says interim CAO Garry Peterson.
“It is able to respond immediately for a same-day response to assist a municipality with emergency management with an all-hazards approach.”

Without this agreement, Tobin would have to call other services and agencies individually for support when needed, Tobin says.

“It takes away the chaos,” Tobin says.

Although no cost in associated with joining, assisting fire departments and emergency services would be paid for personnel services and resources and equipment used.

Other neighbouring municipalities that have signed onto the agreement include the Town of High Prairie, M.D. of Greenview in Valleyview, M.D. of Smoky River in Falher and McLennan, Town of Peace River, Northern Sunrise County, along with 10 other municipalities.

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