Disasters don’t take vacations: Provincial Emergency Coordination Centre gears up for annual training

By Courtney Theriault

It’s all hands on deck at Alberta’s Provincial Emergency Coordination Centre (PECC). While the flood may not be real, it’s just part of an annual emergency management exercise. But if it were, the effects could be staggering.

Albertans know all too well that disaster can strike at any time. Peoples’ property, livelihood agriculture, transportation and infrastructure, are all among those Stephen Lacroix managing director of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency says could be impacted.

“We minimize the level of improvisation and minimize the unknown so when we have to do this for real, should we have to do this for real,” explained Lacroix.

This exercise is a case of practice makes perfect for situations when time is of the essence.

Alberta’s Provincial Emergency Coordination Centre works on annual emergency training.

“Over the last decade, there have been seven major critical incidents here in Alberta. We have to be prepared,” said Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services, Mike Ellis.

“There is going to be another one and I think there’s an expectation from albertans that we are prepared.”

This is the first in-person exercise since the team moved into the new centre in 2021. Teams scour every bit of information – from phone calls to social media – in order to swiftly implement a strategy.

Up to 40 people man the site on a daily basis. And it’s year-round – because disasters don’t take vacations.

“Maybe we should shut this down and open it up in march and take it to October, but I think history and those lessons learned would say no,” said Lacroix.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today