June 16th, 2024

Regional municipalities forge closer ties for emergency management

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on December 23, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

Lethbridge County will participate in a new regional emergency management program being established.

Starting in the spring, Lethbridge County will transition from its present emergency management structure to a new regional program which also includes Coaldale, Picture Butte, Coalhurst, Nobleford and Barons.

In a press release, County reeve Tory Campbell said “this is an exciting step for Lethbridge County and the entire region. Participating in a regional emergency management program that includes urban neighbours within our boundaries will enhance the region’s and the county’s capacity and ability to provide a more comprehensive, coordinated and effective response to major disasters.”

Presently, each municipality has its own director of emergency management who is responsible for co-ordinating responses to larger-scale emergencies which could include floods, wildfires and other events which affect public safety.

This new framework will have one DEM for the whole region and an emergency management coordinator who will oversee the operations for all six municipalities. This will reduce duplication of services and utilize resources more efficiently, says the County release.

“We recognize the importance of having a coordinated response to emergency and disaster management,” said CAO Ann Mitchell in the release. “With increases in severe weather and large-scale events in our province in recent years, emergency preparedness and management are as essential as ever. This program will allow the County and our urban neighbours to manage potential disasters more effectively.”

The plan, intended for large-scale events won’t have any impact on the day-to-day operations of emergency services. Funding is provided by each municipality with a government grant to be applied to help offset costs.

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