Municipal leaders from Port Alberni to the West Coast are joining forces to ensure the coast is prepared for potential emergencies.
The Alberni Clayoquot Regional District, District of Tofino and District of Ucluelet recently received $65,115 from the provincial government’s Community Emergency Preparedness program.
“This grant will further strengthen the emergency response capacity of the ACRD and West Coast communities by providing valuable joint training and upgrades to our Emergency Operations Centre equipment,” Ucluelet Fire Chief Rick Geddes said through a joint statement released last week.
The grant will be shared by the ARCD and both districts to strengthen regional capacity and collaboration.
“The Districts of Tofino and Ucluelet face the same challenges as well as living with limited access routes. Since these Districts and the ACRD are adjacent to each other, it is essential that a regional approach is practiced when it comes to potential emergencies,” the announcement states.
The shared funding will go towards training opportunities and equipment, including pagers, hand-held radios, headsets and auxiliary power banks.
“Our top priority is keeping our community safe before, during, and after an emergency,” said Brent Baker, fire chief and manager of protective services at the District of Tofino. “Working as a region is essential in ensuring emergency operations centres across our communities can respond effectively.”
ACRD protective services manager Heather Zenner said the regional collaboration and teamwork is imperative to increasing the area’s collective responsive capacity.
“We recognize that united we are stronger, better prepared, and more resilient,” she said.