Emergency Management meeting ran through fake tornado scenario

By Ponoka News Staff

Ponoka community partners hosted an emergency management meeting and table top exercise on Oct. 4 in the old fire hall.

Attendees included the Town of Ponoka, Ponoka County, the Ponoka Stampede, Alberta Health Services, Emergency Social Services, the RCMP, ambulance services and the Alberta Emergency Management Agency.

The purpose of holding this annual exercise is to provide a practice scenario that simulates how all of our partners would respond if an actual emergency were to occur.

The table top exercise was based on a hypothetical tornaodo hitting the Ponoka Stampede.

“These table top exercises help ensure our staff have the training and experience to act effectively and respond quickly in this role,” said Sandra Smith, communications manager for the town.

The exercise included a simulation of the transfer of responsibilities from one shift of emergency management staff and first responders to a second shift to help all involved understand and practice the dynamics involved in a multi-day emergency management scenario.

“It was a successful training exercise that the Town looks forward to continuing on a regular basis with Ponoka County and our other partners,” said Smith.

“All of the partners involved worked very well together.”

These annual exercises are about supporting ongoing training and preparedness to ensure that town is ready to respond in the rare event of an actual emergency occurring.

The Town of Ponoka has a Regional Emergency Management Plan (in cooperation with its regional partners Ponoka County, the Summer Village of Parkland Beach and the Town of Rimbey) that we review and keep up-to-date.

Each year during the Ponoka Stampede, the Town also activates its Emergency Operations Centre where it has trained staff that monitor the weather and maintain a state of readiness so it can respond quickly in the event of an emergency.

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