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Kincardine holds nuclear emergency exercise
By Roberta Trelford,
community emergency management co-ordinator

Kincardine council

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The Municipality of Kincardine’s Nuclear Emergency Response Plan underwent a test of its response capabilities Thursday, June 5, as several organizations put their personnel and procedures through their paces in a simulated nuclear emergency.

The seven-hour exercise involved the Kincardine Emergency Control Group, local emergency responders, Bruce Power staff, Bruce County Social Services, the Canadian Red Cross, St. John Ambulance and the Salvation Army. The participating organizations tested and strengthened the integration of their response plans and procedures.

Based on an imaginary incident at Bruce Power, the exercise was triggered by provincial authorities ordering the Kincardine Nuclear Emergency Plan be activated. 

As the scenario unfolded, the reception/evacuee centre, housed at the Davidson Centre, was activated, and staff from Bruce Power prepared for the job of vehicle and personal monitoring and decontamination. 

Staffing at the centre also included Bruce County Social Services and the Canadian Red Cross. During an emergency situation, the Canadian Red Cross volunteers provide reception and registration of evacuees, family reunification, lodging and other personal services. 

St. John Ambulance was also on hand at the centre to provide medical assistance to centre staff and evacuees. The Salvation Army volunteers provided a delicious lunch to close to 80 people who participated in the exercise. 

Other volunteers played the role of evacuees and were put through the vehicle and personal monitoring and decontamination process, as well as the registration process by the Canadian Red Cross.

In addition, the Emergency Operations Centre was activated for the exercise and the Emergency Control Group was in action at that location, testing the Kincardine Nuclear Response Plan and procedures.

Over the course of the exercise, the Emergency Control Group was busy monitoring and assessing the evolving incident and making situational decisions in order to ensure the provision and maintenance of essential services for both those affected and those not affected by the incident. 

The Emergency Control Group typically directs continuity of operations in order to maintain critical services, protect the public, and reduce economic and social losses.

 


Kincardine is mandated by legislation to have emergency plans in place to ensure a timely and effective response in the unlikely case that a nuclear event should ever occur.

The municipality is responsible for alerting the public, conducting evacuations, housing evacuees in co-ordination with other organizations, and keeping the public notified of the ongoing situation. The municipality would also receive direction and support from the province during a nuclear event.

These exercises not only provide the responders with the training they need, they also reassure the public that area emergency responders and other agencies are prepared to handle emergency situations should they arise.



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Saturday, June 07, 2014