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Emergency management focus of 2018 Bordering on Disaster Conference

Emergency management was the main focus of this year’s Bordering on Disaster Conference. Each year the conference brings in speakers to present various topics around handling emergencies to industry professionals.

Manager of Emergency Services for Lloydminster Ernie Polsom says the conference is an opportunity for the city to demonstrate their leadership by bringing people together.

“The reality in 21st century Canada is that emergency management response is a team event. It means that we have to have friends and relationships with folks very far and broadly to make sure that all of the things that we need are together.”

Polsom was also a speaker at the conference and spoke about the key tools for emergency managers such as risk assessments, emergency management plans and engaging with regional partners.

Director of Emergency and Disaster Management with Alberta Health Services Darren Barber says he came to the conference to make connections with regional partners in order to coordinate their services in case of a disaster.

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“We strive to make sure we can maintain our services, but we also rely on [regional partners] to help us maintain those services and they rely on us to provide them assistance as well. We need to make sure we’re coordinating all those resources in the best way possible and this is that opportunity to do that.”

Barber also spoke at the conference about the support Alberta Health Services would provide in an emergency, as well as a new initiative on mental health supports.

“Looking at not only the physical safety and support of individuals but also those who may be experiencing a disaster, maybe having a more stressful or even a traumatic effect on them. We want to make sure we reach those people so we can reduce that negative impact on them.”

Polsom says he was amazed at the turnout for the one-day event.

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