Training Exercise Centred At Airport
Residents and visitors to the Grande Prairie Airport on Thursday should not be alarmed if they see a flurry of emergency response activity.
The Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership (GPREP) has scheduled an exercise involving a disaster scenario at the airport and a secondary situation on Range Road 71 to provide a training opportunity for the implementation of the Regional Emergency Management Plan. The Airport will remain open during the exercise and no flights are being disrupted.
“We’re excited with the development of the plan,” says GPREP Co-ordinator Jennifer Wood. “This is our first opportunity to try it out in a practice environment. We want to make the public aware that any activities or events they may witness are not real emergencies.”
This Emergency Management Plan is designed to provide guidelines for implementing a co-ordinated response to large emergencies or disasters affecting the Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership (GPREP) and/or any of the individual municipalities in the Partnership.
Municipalities in the Partnership are: the Town of Beaverlodge, the City of Grande Prairie, the County of Grande Prairie, the Village of Hythe, the Town of Sexsmith, and the Town of Wembley.
“It’s important to have periodic exercises to see how we would respond in an actual disaster incident to determine if there are any gaps,” says Wood. “The exercise is intended to ensure a co-ordinated and efficient response by a multitude of agencies.
“Following the actual scenario, we will debrief. We’re pleased to collaborate with our numerous community partners to see the plan in action. Under the plan, we could have personnel from Beaverlodge assisting with an incident in Grande Prairie or staff from Grande Prairie being mobilized for an event in Hythe. We need to ensure that we can operate seamlessly.”
In addition to exercising various aspects of operations with GPREP, there will be an opportunity to see how a reception centre for people involved in a disaster might operate. The Airport’s Emergency Plan will be engaged and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital will see how it can respond to a mass casualty event.