Disaster Services is in place to work towards eliminating risks, and ensuring residents are as safe as possible in the event of a disaster.
As illustrated by the devastating Slave Lake wildfires, a disaster can strike at any time, and the Town of Edson is continuously working towards making the community as safe as possible through programs like FireSmarting, educating the public, and training staff to handle emergency situations.
In the event of an emergency the Town of Edson's Emergency Operations Centre will be located at the Civic Centre. If the Civic Centre is not an option the secondary site will be the Edson Fire Hall.
Town of Edson Response During Emergencies
In the case of an emergency, the Town of Edson may activate the Municipal Emergency Plan, including the opening of an Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC).
An emergency is any event that requires coordination to protect the safety, health, or welfare of people or to limit damage to property. This could include large fires, hazmat, pandemic response, rail incidents, airport emergencies, or large-scale utility outages.
What does the Town do in an emergency?
When an Incident Commander arrives on scene, they determine the resources required to support the event taking place. The Commander connects with the Chief Administrative Officer or designate and agrees to activate the Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC).
When the ECC is opened the Town contacts all relevant emergency officials. Depending on the size and nature of the emergency, a partial or full activation of the ECC is determined. This may include:
ECC Director (DEM) – Chief Administrative Officer or Designate
Operations Section Chief
Planning Section Chief
Logistics Section Chief
Finance & Admin
Public & Media Officer
Liaisons from various companies or stakeholders outside of Town departments (ex. Epcor, Atco, Alberta Health Services, Alberta Emergency Management Agency, etc.)
Political Representatives – Town Council supports the ECC through the Emergency Management Advisory Committee (EMAC). During EMAC meetings, Council is informed of progress of the incident and provides guidance to the Emergency Coordination Centre team. Council also supports the incident by sharing the ECC messaging and, in some cases, acting as a spokesperson during the emergency.
Many of the roles are filled by senior administrative staff of the Town of Edson. Each year members of the ECC team conduct training exercises and mock disasters, which is a requirement of the Province. As well, each team member is required to take specific training for their roles.
When communicating with the public in an emergency, the Town of Edson utilizes social media, the website (www.edson.ca), the Edson mobile app, and updates local media on a regular basis. The Town may also use the Alberta Emergency Alert system, a digital public warning system used to alert the public of hazards, potential emergencies or disasters, through participating distributors (such as broadcast media) and the Internet.
The ECC remains open and functions until the emergency is over. Following the disbanding of the ECC, debrief meetings are carried out to record what worked well and what can be improved on in the future. Those lessons assist in making improvements for future events.
What can residents do to be prepared?
• Residents should also be prepared for emergency situations. The Government of Canada asks citizens to have a 72-hour emergency plan. Information can be found below.
• Stay informed during an emergency o Listen to the radio o Watch TV or check local news or government websites o Follow the Town of Edson’s website, Twitter, or Facebook o Follow Alberta Emergency Alert Twitter
The safety of residents is our number one concern, and the Town of Edson is prepared and ready to ensure the necessary resources are available in the event of any emergency.
72 Hour Emergency Kits
Are you and your family prepared for an emergency? Will you be able to make it through the first 72 hours of an emergency with little to no help?
The Town of Edson Protective Services Department is urging residents to build and maintain a 72 hour emergency preparedness kit. Kits should contain enough supplies to keep you and your family safe and comfortable for a minimum of 72 hours and stored in easy to access locations such as a front closet.