A mock disaster is being staged by the Steinbach Emergency Operations and Response Teams to test the city’s emergency plan. The mock event, which will be a dangerous goods transportation scenario, will take place on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 from approximately 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

“This is a great opportunity to put all of our emergency planning into practice,” says Denis Vassart, Emergency Planning Coordinator for Steinbach, “We simulate an emergency and respond as if it’s really taking place. We learn a lot from this type of event, and use those learnings to adjust and improve our response plans.”

Vassart also said he is pleased to have so many community partners involved to practice interaction between Emergency Services departments. Besides the Emergency Operations Centre team, the following organizations are also taking part in the exercise: Southern Health-Santé Sud EMS and Bethesda Regional Health Centre, Hanover School Division, Steinbach Fire, RCMP, Public Works department and various other volunteers. In all, about 115 people will take part in the exercise.

As part of the event, Loewen Boulevard from the east entrance of Oak Crescent to Henry Street will be closed from approximately 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Barricades will be set up at Hospital Street and Loewen Boulevard, Walnut Street/Heritage Parkway and Loewen Boulevard as well as Henry Street and Ash Avenue. Temporary detours will be set up and motorists will be directed accordingly.

Although it’s tempting to come out and watch the event, Vassart says the public is strongly advised to stay clear and allow volunteers and responders to do their jobs.

“We treat this as a real situation and it’s important that responders don’t have to worry about non-participants jeopardizing the safety of our responders or distracting them from their role in the event.”

The City and Emergency Operations and Response Teams apologize for any inconvenience this mock event may cause and ask for your cooperation and patience. The city thanks the public for their cooperation while we train our Response Teams to help make Steinbach a safer city in which to live.

The city’s last mock disaster event was a tornado scenario that took place in 2009. Vassart says the Emergency Operations Team still uses those learnings in their training and planning discussions to date.

Any questions or concerns can be directed to Denis Vassart at 204-392-5996 or email dvassart@steinbach.ca.