With wildfires in the news, local municipalities are hosting the annual Emergency Preparedness Expo in Qualicum Beach this Saturday, May 14.
Formalizing their long-time partnership under the new banner of Emergency Management Oceanside (EMO), the Town of Qualicum Beach, City of Parksville and the Regional District of Nanaimo are now formally collaborating on large scale emergency support.
Following national Emergency Preparedness Week (May 1-7), EMO and numerous emergency related organizations will be on hand with information on how you can be better prepared.
The free family friendly event includes first responder groups like police, ambulance and fire, service groups like the Oceanside Emergency Support Services and animal services, utilities like B.C. Hydro and Fortis B.C., government organizations and businesses.
There will be displays, workshops, hands-on demonstrations, opportunities to ask questions, and people can even bring in fire extinguishers to be tested.
Food will be available from the Parksville/Qualicum Shrine Club (pancake breakfast) and the Nanaimo and District Shrine Club (lunch).
The idea of the expo is that while disasters are beyond our control, there are ways to reduce the risk and the impact. Residents and business owners are encouraged to take steps to be prepared personally, as an individual, a family and in the workplace.
Two of the participating organizations, Arrrowsmith Search and Rescue (ASAR) and Nanaimo Lifeline, will focus on Project Lifesaver as one of the most effective ways to help save lives.
Project Lifesaver helps track people with cognitive impairment like dementia and brain injury who may consequently be prone to “wandering.”
The system provides timely location data to emergency police and helps search and rescue save lives and reduce injury.
Enrolled clients wear a small personal locator unit that emits a radio signal. If the client wanders, trained search teams can track the signal. The organizations point out the signals are not monitored unless a loved one is reported missing.
“Within the past three years ASAR has been involved in two large scale, multi-day operations looking for people who had wandered off,” said ASAR’s Barry Blair. “In one of these incidents the person has still not been located.
The Project Lifesaver sessions are at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. If you can’t make it but would like more information, call Nanaimo Lifeline at 1-250-947-8213.
The expo runs 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 14 at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre, 747 Jones Street.
For more information on emergency services contact your local municipality: Parksville 250-248-6144, parksville.ca; Qualicum Beach 250-752-6921, qualicumbeach.com; RDN 1-877-607-4111, rdn.bc.ca
— NEWS staff