Alberta communities will be better prepared to respond to disasters and emergencies thanks to provincial investment in regional response teams.
Six communities will receive a total of $2.6 million in grants to coordinate and train regional “all-hazards” incident management teams to strengthen regional emergency response.
These teams will use their expertise to support local officials when an emergency or disaster strikes. One of their main functions is to provide centralized command, which enables more effective communication and resource sharing across municipal borders.
“We have learned a lot from previous disasters, and we know that fires and floods don’t stop at municipal lines, so it’s important that our ability to effectively respond to emergencies doesn’t stop there either. Our government is committed to helping regions pull together resources and expertise to better protect Alberta families and neighbours across communities.”
~Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs
The grants will be rolled out over four years to:
- Canada Task Force 2 (operated by the City of Calgary): $1.6 million
- Town of High Level (northwest region): $240,000
- City of Cold Lake (northeast region): $240,000
- Capital Region Emergency Preparedness Partnership Society (north central region): $160,000
- Red Deer County (central region): $160,000
- City of Medicine Hat (southern region): $200,000
The four-year grant provides a stable source of funding, allowing the teams to conduct long-term planning and training. While the teams primarily support the regions where they are based, they may also be deployed to help other areas of the province.
In addition to helping fund the development of new regional teams, this investment includes support for Canada Task Force 2 (CAN-TF2), Calgary’s highly qualified incident management team. CAN-TF2 is a rapid-deployment and all-hazards Disaster Response Team with the ability to respond to disasters across Alberta and Canada. Its members are highly trained volunteers from a variety of specialties and include paramedics, doctors, firefighters, emergency managers and logistics specialists.
“We deeply appreciate the Government of Alberta’s continued investment in Canada Task Force 2. This funding will help ensure that we remain trained and ready as Alberta’s Disaster Response Team. Helping make Alberta more resilient is good for individuals, our communities and our business.”
~Tom Sampson, Chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency and commander of Canada Task Force 2
Investing in regional emergency teams is in direct response to lessons-learned reports from previous disasters. Report recommendations from the 2013 southern Alberta floods and the 2016 Wood Buffalo wildfires highlighted the importance of incident management teams and the value of regions working together to share emergency management resources.