The City of Castlegar will be getting some upgrades to its emergency operations centre thanks to some grant funding.
A $25,000 grant from the community emergency preparedness fund managed through the Union of BC Municipalities will provide advanced communications equipment that will improve the city’s abilities to coordinate emergency or disaster response with other municipalities, government agencies, and industry.
“The emergency operations centre is critical infrastructure when disasters like forest fires, floods, or hazardous materials spills strike,” says Mayor Bruno Tassone. “In an emergency, time and communication can be a matter of life or death for people and property in peril. This upgrade is some peace of mind for all residents because it allows us to set up faster and communicate more effectively.”
The project will also provide:
• Enhancement of ability for communities, industry and agencies to all work better together to assist people with evacuation, and access to shelter, clean water and food in case of disaster.
• Support to all major industries and agencies such as Mercer, Interfor, Fortis, BC Hydro, IHA, SD20 and others in the City of Castlegar response area if their own operations and emergency centres are impacted by disaster.
• A back-up location for neighbouring communities, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, and the Regional District of Central Kootenay if their emergency centres become compromised in a disaster.
• Independent communications capability to co-ordinate disaster response or other types of emergencies should the city network servers go down.
Castlegar’s emergency opoerations centre is located on the second floor of the Fire Hall.
This project is the first significant upgrade of capability since the fire hall was built in 1999.