Halton Region successfully tests emergency response system and plans

During the exercise, Oakville Regional Councillor, Cathy Duddeck, took on the role of Acting Regional Chair.

(from left to right) Sheldon Wolfson, Commissioner Halton Region Social and Community Services; Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Commissioner and Medical Officer of Health Halton Region Health Department; Lee Grant, Regional Fire Chief; Peter McMurrough, Deputy Chief Halton Region Paramedic Services; Halton Regional Police Service
Halton Region successfully tests emergency response system and plans
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About the Author

Gary Carr

Gary Carr

In 2006, Gary was elected to the position of Regional Chair at the Regional Municipality of Halton, and was re-elected to the position in 2010. Gary sits on the Standing Committees of Health and Social Services, Administration and Finance, and Planning and Public Works, in addition to a number of Advisory Committees. Gary is also a member of the board for the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance, and served on the Halton Regional Police Services Board and Metrolinx.

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On November 27, 2014, members of Halton Region’s Emergency Control Group, which includes Regional staff, and all local first responders: Halton Regional Police Service, the local fire departments and Paramedic Services, successfully tested the Region’s emergency operations centre systems and plans. A representative from Canadian National Railway (CN) was also on hand during this year’s exercise because the chosen scenario was a major freight train derailment with hazardous materials.

Halton Region is committed to community safety and we continually work with our community partners to review, practice and enhance our emergency plans. This exercise provided our staff with a great training opportunity that helped refine our emergency response capabilities. As always, we learned valuable insights to ensure we are even better prepared in the event of a real emergency in Halton, so we can continue to be a leader in emergency preparedness.

During the exercise, Oakville Regional Councillor, Cathy Duddeck, took on the role of Acting Regional Chair. “Effective emergency response in any scenario is very complex. I was very impressed today by the commitment from all first responders and Regional staff in sharing information and keeping the lines of communication open at all times,” Duddeck said. “Everyone worked well together and Halton residents should feel confident that we are prepared as a community in the event of a true emergency.”

Ward 2 town and regional candidate Cathy Duddeck

Ward 2 town and regional candidate Cathy Duddeck

The exercise successfully tested all aspects of emergency response from initial response protocols, communications and collaboration, health protocols, extensive evacuation procedures and more. Another key component of the exercise was the use the Region’s relatively new Disaster LAN software that manages response activities and communications more efficiently and effectively. A facilitated debriefing session took place immediately following the exercise where the group’s performance was evaluated and important lessons learned identified.

For more information about Halton’s Emergency Management Program and to download or order Halton’s Personal Emergency Preparedness Guide, visit www.halton.ca/beprepared or dial 311.

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