Mock disaster to test local response capabilities

Trail residents may be hearing sirens next week when Teck and partners put on a full-scale emergency exercise in Warfield.

Trail residents may be hearing more sirens next week when Teck and mutual-aid partners put on a full-scale emergency exercise in Warfield.

The mock disaster from first response right through to patient care will prepare participants for their individual efforts as well as a group approach to a large disaster scenario.

Not much is being said about the actual training exercise because the surprise element will really make for a “real life” situation, explained Catherine Adair, community relations leader for Teck Trail  Operations.

The planned disasters will be acted out, but there will be some real elements.

“We’re not sharing the full details of the scenario just to maximize the training benefits and the effectiveness for the first responders so they don’t know exactly what they’re going to be practising on (next) Tuesday,” she said.

“It will be a full-scale exercise involving all of our mutual-aid partners; hosted by Teck, the Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue and the Regional District Kootenay Boundary Emergency Program.”

Bingay Road from Whitman Way to Highway 22 will be closed from 8 a.m. until noon May 27 to ensure the public stays off grounds.

During that time there will be an increase in emergency response vehicles in the area.

The mock exercise will involve many community partners including the Regional District Kootenay Boundary Emergency Program partners (Trail, Warfield and Regional District of Kootenay Boundary’s Electoral Area B), the RCMP, BC Ambulance Service, School District 20, FortisBC, Canadian Red Cross, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and Emergency Management British Columbia.

“This is just a good opportunity for any new employees or new first responders to practice a full-scale exercise like this and an opportunity to build those relationships,” said Adair.

While regular tabletop discussions are hosted the last hands-on training of this kind was held in 2008 when Murray Bertram from “Just Like Real Exercise” organized the $28,000 occasion.

The cost to put on this in-house exercise is unclear at this time, said Adair, who couldn’t speculate whether the training will be pulled back from the last training day when actors were covered in fake wounds and gashes to really portray the mock disaster.

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