Emergency Management is necessary to improve public safety and security through the creation of disaster-resilient communities. This is accomplished by structuring programs based on the four pillars of emergency management: mitigation/prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.
Mitigation and prevention: involves activities which reduce or eliminate the effects of an emergency. Mitigation assumes that society is exposed to risk whether or not an emergency occurs.
Preparedness: involves actions taken prior to an emergency to ensure an effective response including, but not limited to, public education, emergency information, training and exercises, preparing plans and operation centres, and establishing communications systems.
Response involves actions taken to respond to an emergency. Such actions in the context of an influenza pandemic would include the distribution of vaccine (once available), mobilizing human, financial, and supply resources, and emergency declarations.
Recovery involves actions taken to recover from the emergency. These activities include such elements as returning the community and response agencies to a pre-emergency phase and rebuilding/restocking of supplies initiatives.
On June 20, 2006, an Act to amend the Emergency Management Act, the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 received Royal Assent becoming the new provincial Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
The new legislation amends the definition of emergency to include danger caused by disease or health risk. However, the primary purpose of the new legislation is to provide emergency powers to the Province (Lieutenant Govenor in Council and the Premier) to deal with emergencies.
As with the former Emergency Management Act, it is mandatory for all jurisdictions in Ontario to have Emergency Management Programs. These Programs are regulated by Emergency Management Ontario (EMO), a branch of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
Emergency Management Programs must contain the following standards:
In addition to the Regional Emergency Management Program, each area municipality also has a Program to develop prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery initiatives for their own distinct community.
The Community Emergency Management Coordinators (CEMCs) in Waterloo Region work together to provide efficient, effective and timely emergency management programs, such as: joint training exercises; designated talk groups; and training in WebEOC (emergency event management software).
The Community Emergency Management Coordinators in Waterloo Region are:
|Region of Waterloo||Steve LaRochelle, Program Manager Emergency Measures|
|City of Cambridge||Jon Rehill, Deputy Fire Chief|
|City of Kitchener||Gary Mann, Deputy Fire Chief|
|City of Waterloo||Richard Hepditch, Deputy Fire Chief|
|Township of North Dumfries||Robert Shantz, Fire Chief|
|Township of Wellesley||Andrew Lillico, Fire Chief|
|Township of Wilmot||John Ritz, Fire Chief|
|Township of Woolwich||Dale Martin, Deputy Fire Chief|