Police direct traffic during evacuation of Williams Lake as wildfires threatened access highways, July 2017.                                 Black Press files

Police direct traffic during evacuation of Williams Lake as wildfires threatened access highways, July 2017. Black Press files

Emergency Operations Centres & Training grant sought

City of Quesnel looking for UBCM funding to update EOC, emergency plan

Councillors gave the green light for City of Quesnel staff to submit a grant to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) Community Preparedness Fund for an Emergency Operations Centres & Training Grant at the Jan. 30 council meeting.

After all of the Evacuation Orders from the summer’s wildfires had been lifted, Mayor and council discussed the need to prepare the 2018 wildfire season.

Council continuesto study and work on ways to help residents and business owners who experienced losses due to the devastation of 2017 wildfires.

Early in this process, council decided the City of Quesnel had to be better prepared for and have the ability to provide a better Emergency Operations Centre.

After staff put a report before council, it was determined council would seek funding for equipment upgrading and staff training.

UBCM was determined to be a good funding source.

Staff anticipated $35,000 would cover the cost to update equipment and train staff for dealing with emergency situations.

The City will submit a grant application for:

• City staff to receive Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) training;

• Equipment for the EOC, such as telephones and laptop computers;

• EOC workers sleeping necessities, such as cots, blankets and pillows; and

• evacuation planning consultant to assist the City in developing an updated Evacuation Plan as part of the City’s Emergency Plan.

The Evacuation Plan needs to be co-ordinated with Northern Health, School District #28, Cariboo Regional District, seniors groups and other community groups.

The City will be asking UBCM cover up to $25,000 through its Emergency Operations Centres & Training Grant.

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