On Wednesday, June 13, members of the Clearwater and Little Fort Emergency Support Services teams combined for an exercise at Blackpool Hall. This exercise was part of the regular training of ESS team members for setting up and operating a reception center should an event, such as a flood, require the evacuation of people from their homes.
Regular practicing of operational plans gives new team members a chance to become familiar with operations before an emergency hits and an activation is required. It also provides all members the opportunity to work together to develop or become familiar with a plan and to review procedures.
This was the first time the team had worked in the newly renovated Blackpool Hall. As part of the exercise, an after action report is completed and a plan for setting up that particular facility is developed or revised. Issues such as location, access, washrooms, equipment such as tables and chairs, kitchen facilities, capacity and the like are all taken into account.
To date, ESS Clearwater has developed plans for the Sportsplex and the Blackpool Hall, while the Little Fort team has one for the Little Fort Hall. It is anticipated various facilities from Little Fort to Blue River will eventually be evaluated for possible use during evacuations.
The Blackpool Hall Committee and Star Lake Women’s Institute were very supportive of this exercise, with some of the members even participating as “evacuees”.
ESS Clearwater is comprised of volunteers from Blackpool to Upper Clearwater and Vavenby. If you are interested in becoming involved with ESS, you can contact Cheryl Thomas (director) or Grant Gale (alternate director). Training sessions are held the second Wednesday of every month at the TNRD Library on Murtle Crescent beside the Sportsplex.