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Trail shakes off earthquake drill
If a tremor shook the City if Trail, the general public might find themselves practicing the ingrained fire drill: stop, drop and roll.
While residents in the Lower Mainland may have dropped, covered and held on with more than 690,000 British Columbians during the Great British Columbia ShakeOut drill Thursday morning, the majority of Trail organizations contacted opted out or knew nothing of the province-wide earthquake preparedness exercise.
Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue, School District 20 and the City of Trail were among several places contacted that same day in hopes of gaining some insight on local preparedness.
Deputy Regional Fire Chief Dan Derby, who also wears the hat of Emergency Program coordinator for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB), said the unlikely event does come with a plan.
“It's coming from the coast, it's definitely a far bigger issue on the coast,” he explained, a response echoed across the community. “Our bigger risks locally are related to wildfires . . . flooding and a hazardous material incident and I think that's probably one of the bigger reasons.”
Larry Abenante, Trail public works manager, said the city has never participated in an earthquake drill in the 18 years he's been on board. He can't recall there ever being a tremor in the city.
What the city does focus on, he said, is working together with emergency agencies during a disaster. Such was the case with the 2008 Unified Regional Emergency Exercise, a cooperative exercise done to test the performance of each individual rescue squad and to evaluate how they work together.
He said the Emergency Program committee has already started planning for the next one, which is scheduled for every five years, but with a cut to funding will likely look much different than the massive orchestrated event done in 2008.
Done on Teck property, 14 organizations including the RCMP, firefighters and ambulance took part in the simulated drill, where volunteers on the scene were dressed as casualties with burns, chest wounds, and gashes to the head.
In case of an emergency, Trail does have an Emergency Operations Centre, located in the lower level of the Greater Trail Community Centre and features full inter-connectivity for fire, police, ambulance and public works; four stations with full radio capabilities for all jurisdictions in the RDKB; a backup generator and a meeting room for decision makers.