Golden’s Emergency Operations Centre was put to the test on Oct. 15 when they ran a mock exercise to see how effective the centre would be during a real emergency.
“We brought in a contractor to get some third party feedback to see how the team acts in an emergency situation,” said Kyle Hale, emergency program co-ordinator for Golden and Area.
The emergency scenario involved serious weather conditions that saw both the Trans-Canada and Highway 95 closed. They were also dealing with a tractor trailer accident on the Kicking Horse Bridge, which required emergency responders, and the possibility that these closures would remain in effect for another 48 hours.
“I think he’s going to have a lot of positive things to say,” said Hale. “Having said that, there’s always things that need to be tweaked.”
The centre, located across from Alexander Park Elementary, had more than a dozen volunteers and town officials inside working on the mock exercise, which is far more than would be involved during a real emergency says Hale.
“One of our big challenges is that many of our key staff are involved in other organizations, like the fire department etc., and in a full scale emergency we might have trouble getting enough people in,” he said.
During Hale’s three years as co-ordinator, he has seen three major emergencies, including flooding and two train derailments, and a handful of smaller emergencies.
“These things can happen, and it’s important that we’re prepared.”