It was a busy day for everyone that participated in the city’s mock emergency event that took place on Tuesday in Steinbach. The pretend scenario involved a truck pulling a tank of Anhydrous Ammonia colliding with a car and school bus on Loewen Blvd.
“It was great to have so many community partners involved,” said Dennis Vassart, Emergency Planning Coordinator, “Interaction between emergency service departments is critical during a real emergency. We appreciate everyone that came out to participate and help stage things to be as real as possible. We had about 125 people involved.”
The city would like to thank the following organizations for their participation: Hanover School Division, Southern Health-Santé Sud EMS and Bethesda Regional Health Centre, Steinbach Fire, and RCMP. Also special thanks to the Public Works Department, Steinbach Lions Club, Emergency Operations Centre team volunteers, Steinbach Towing, Patterson Grain, Subway, Grace Mennonite Church for their volunteers, Steinbach Mennonite Church for the usTe of their facilities, Stonybrook Middle School students and staff, and the students from SRSS Drama Club for portraying crash victims. The city would also like to thank the public, especially those that live in the immediate area, for their patience and cooperation during the exercise.
“I think the exercise went very well,” said Vassart, “There is always room for improvement and that’s why we plan these types of events. It’s good to learn and improve from this type of situation, so we can be that much more prepared during a real emergency.”
Vassart noted that he was especially pleased with Steinbach Alert Now, the city’s emergency notification system. The system’s mapping function efficiently pinpointed residents that were in the evacuation area and then notified them by phone call, email, or text. He was also pleased that the event allowed the city to test a range of response plans including setting up the Emergency Operations Centre and a reception centre for evacuees.
Although the event is over, the responses from the event will now be reviewed and the city’s emergency plan will be updated as required.