No significant changes to town’s emergency plans

 

By Karen Fallon

The town gave their stamp of approval to the updated emergency plan presented by Fire Chief Randy Sinasac, Dec. 10.

Although there is a five-year cycle for review and approval of its emergency plan, an annual review of the existing emergency plan and nuclear response plan is conducted under the emergency management program for the Town of Amherstburg, says Sinasac.

According to the chief, emergencies are defined as situations or impending situations abnormally affecting property and the health, safety, and welfare of the community which, by their nature or magnitude, require a coordinated response by a number of organizations under a Community Control Group

Sinasac says the plan is reviewed on an annual basis. However, unless there is “proprietary information” that has to be changed the plan doesn’t have to go before council, says Sinasac. “Generally speaking that only happens every five years.”

While many emergencies could occur within the town, notes Sinasac, Amherstburg’s plan has been prepared to mitigate the effects of a chemical emergency occurring at one of the Town of Amherstburg’s chemical plants or through a transportation accident, as well as any emergency of a general nature.

Councillor Diane Pouget questioned the reference to yearly up-dates from 2006, as she says her lawyer has been unable to get an updated plan in respect to a conflict of interest case.

Pouget had earlier been told that she had been removed from the Emergency Information Committee because she was in a conflict situation as a councillor.

The plan has “certainly” been updated since 2006 says Sinasac, and problems that had been experienced with the formatting for the website have  since been rectified and the plan can now be found on the web.

Sinasac says the last testing of the emergency plan at the community level was carried out in May of this year when Acting CAO Kristina Pozar Di Paolo and Deputy Mayor Ron Sutherland took part as new members of the team.

According to the chief there were also no significant changes made to the  Nuclear Response Plan, which has to get provincial approval for changes made to this document.

The aim of the Town of Amherstburg in the event of an emergency, notes Sinasac, is to safeguard the health, safety, welfare and property of the inhabitants of the community and to protect the environment.

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