The OAEM Board of Directors received a fair bit of feedback about the bulk of our events being held in the Greater Toronto Area over time, and we heard you loud and clear. You may have noticed that we have been offering more and more events in other parts of Ontario, or events that are remotely available to all.
We worked with our partners at OFMEM in order to deliver two sessions available via WebEx, one about Specialized Teams in Emergency Management and the other on Barn Fires and Farm Animals Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery. These sessions were held in-person at the PEOC, and widely attended online. It was eye-opening, as an emergency manager from an urban centre, to hear about the extent of planning required for livestock emergency management concerns, whether on the farm or on the road. It was equally fascinating to hear from Toronto HUSAR, the USAR and CBRNE, and Tactics and Rescue Teams of the OPP, as well as EMAT, and all the highly skilled and specialized teams we have in our own province.
I personally had the honor of attending the Hazards in the North event in Thunder Bay in conjunction with the OFMEM Thunder Bay Sector meeting. This was a well-attended session, with a plethora of great speakers and participants from all over the Northwest. We heard of the emergency management challenges for First Nations communities, as well as their strengths and successes as a host community in Lac Seul from Education Director and Deputy Fire Chief, Eric Bortlis. We also heard from Dale Smyk and Bob Johnson of MNRF’s FireSmart program about protecting your communities from wildfire. And finally, we heard from Garry Harland about relationship building and the ways MNRF is working with communities on forest fire concerns in Northern Ontario.
Additionally, we had a partner work with us and allow us to offer CSA Z1600 in beautiful Ottawa in 2019. These have always been a crowd favourite of our members. We received the following feedback from that session: “Had a great time in Ottawa for the CSA Z1600 Business Continuity Standards Course. Thanks OAEM for offering it and Nicole Pinto and Paul Hassanally for instructing!”
This was a great start but we endeavour to continue to improve our services across all of Ontario. In addition to these events we have already had, we are pleased to announce a few upcoming events. We have already held a few of our Scribe Training courses in Niagara that were a resounding success, so we are thrilled to say we have another sold-out session for April 16th in Azilda (northwest of Sudbury). We are grateful to Inspector Monique Rollin for being so incredibly willing to work with us on offering this course to the Ontario Emergency Management community.
We are thrilled to announce that Mr. Keller is coming to Thunder Bay on November 4th and 5th for the FEMA Certified G290 Basic Public Information Officer training. This training session has also been extremely well attended and highly requested, and we’re delighted to make it available again.
We hope you see our dedication to ensuring a whole of Ontario community continues to be developed. We also want to send our most sincere thanks to our partners who have worked with us to secure space and an audience for many of these sessions. We wouldn’t be able to pull this off without your collaboration. If you have an idea for an event or a professional development need, or have the capacity to help us schedule an event in your area, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will disseminate your request to the appropriate board member so we can see what we can offer the community, together!