The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District’s Emergency Operations Centre has received some provincial grant funding to help pay for training and equipment.
The ACRD Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) received $38,732, the largest amount for north-central Vancouver Island.
“We got funding to run a training exercise of the EOC for staff and (partner) agencies in the Alberni Valley,” said Heather Zenner, the ACRD’s protective services manager.
The Emergency Operations Centre training took place at Echo Centre over five days at the end of June, and the cost was covered by the provincial grant, she added.
The EOC used part of their funding to purchase a satellite telephone as well as computers and other equipment for a mobile operations centre, in case the present building is damaged in a natural disaster. The mobile equipment will be stored at another site.
Another training exercise, this one involving a wildfire scenario, will take place in September. The exercise is designed to give EOC staff and volunteers a real-life example of a disaster for practice so they will be better informed if they have to respond to an emergency.
The funding is part of $1.8 million in provincial emergency preparedness funding going to 54 communities across B.C. The funding is provided through the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) for programs to enhance the resiliency of communities in areas including flood mitigation, evacuation route planning, fire department equipment and training as well as Indigenous cultural safety and cultural humility training.
Other grants went to Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw FN ($24,500 for EOC kit and training); Port Hardy ($22,396 for training and centre improvements); Port McNeill ($20,000 for secondary power and a mobile EOC); Quatsino First Nation ($25,000 for EOC equipment) and Tofino ($25,000 for EOC communications, training and equipment).
“It takes dedicated, hardworking and calm professionals to keep us all safe during an emergency,” said Mid Island-Pacific Rim MLA Josie Osborne. “With these investments, we’re making sure they have the tools, training and equipment necessary to do their important work.”