Registration is now open for our conference and annual general meeting.

We have a diverse list of speakers and subject matter experts lined up from the public sector, private sector, NGOs and more.

May 11 & 12, 2017 – Burlington, ON

Keynote Speakers:

  • Stephanie Durand -Public Safety Canada/Government of Canada
  • Michael J. Morton -Director, Emergency Management, Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management


  • Fort McMurray Wildfire,Jean-Pierre Taschereau – Director, Emergency Operations, Canadian Red Cross
  • Fort McMurray Wildfire Recovery, Marc Forais – Chief of Staff, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Recovery Task Force
  • Ottawa Sinkhole Event, Jim Montgomery – Deputy Chief, Emergency Management, City of Ottawa
  •, Morgan O’Neill – Co-Founder, Recovers
  • Mississauga Explosion, Ivana Di Millo – Director, Communications, City of Mississauga

Full Conference Agenda

Pricing options are as follows:
– Students $80
– Member and Partner Organizations $90
– Non-Member $120

For questions, please contact:

Meet and Greet: There will be a meet and greet at the conference at the end of day 1. There will be snacks and a licenced bar. Come socialize for an hour or two and wait for the traffic to ease.

Quality inn, Burlington (mention that you are visiting the De Groote School for a discount) is the official hotel of the conference.

The Quality Inn is right beside our official post-conference social hub: 

Jake’s Grill & Oyster House Restaurant in Burlington


The Ontario Association of Emergency Managers (OAEM) provides students in post-secondary certificate, diploma, degree or master programs in emergency management with the opportunity to receive an award to recognize their achievements.

The awards are divided into the following categories:

  • The Brian Hook Memorial Award honours the memory of Major Brian Hook through an award granted to a student who has made significant contributions to the field of Emergency Management while maintaining a high level of academic excellence ($1,000 award).
  • Award of Excellence for a Graduate student in Emergency Management ($500).
  • Award of Excellence for an Undergraduate student in Emergency Management ($500)

This year’s winners are:

Brian Hook Memorial Award Winner: Nicole Pinto (Royal Roads)

Nicole PintoNicole is an emergency management professional and candidate for a Master of Arts in Disaster and Emergency Management at Royal Roads University. She has experience in community and health emergency management and is currently the Emergency Assistant for the City of Vaughan. Nicole’s previous emergency management roles have included the City of Burlington and the Central Community Care Access Centre. Nicole has been a member of the OAEM Board for the past two years and has contributed to the Association as a Student Board member and Education Committee Student President. In these roles, Nicole assisted with the development of the OAEM student mentorship program and other outreach initiatives to bring the benefits of OAEM membership to students across Ontario. Through her work as a Board Member, Nicole has helped to promote the association to fellow professionals, students and recent graduates.

OAEM Award of Excellence for a Graduate Student Winner: Zalma Sahar (York University)

Zalma SaharZalma was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and moved to Scarborough, Canada at an early age. During the day she works in international education at York University, supporting international students with first year transition. By night she rigorously works to complete her Masters in Disaster and Emergency Management at York University. In addition, she also leads the Disaster and Emergency Management Students Association (DEMSA) at York University. Zalma has an extensive background in program development related to international education and leadership training. Her passions include human rights, education and sustainability. With her Master’s degree Zalma hopes to assist in the development of policies and programs to make Canada safer, assist with training for professionals, as well as to increase awareness of emergency preparedness opportunities. As part of DEMSA, she strives to empower her team and advocates for student needs.

OAEM Award of Excellence for an Undergraduate Student Winner: Eric Goodwin (Cape Breton University)

Eric GoodwineEric’s career paths to date have included roles in the British military, Toronto’s Emergency Medical Services and, for the past 27 years, Toronto’s police, where he served with the elite Emergency Task Force, among other specialized units. Throughout his various careers, Eric has consistently maintained a keen professional and academic interest in emergency management. However, in 2013 the rarest of opportunities arose for him to fully apply his accrued emergency management knowledge. Eric was selected to form part of a Canadian contingent of police officers destined for Afghanistan to mentor and train commanders of the Afghan National Police; and it was during this time that he discovered a critical gap in the country’s federal police response to large-scale emergencies and disasters. Eric‘s research ultimately provided the impetus for the design, development and implementation of the first incident command course of its kind for Afghanistan’s national police – a concept so pivotal to the progress of the country’s disaster response capabilities. Eric holds a degree in emergency management and has completed numerous provincial and federal courses.

Now is your chance OAEM members—who do you want to represent your community and your needs on the OAEM board?

The upcoming 16th annual general meeting and conference will not only host a wide range of speakers and social events, but will also give new board candidates an opportunity to introduce themselves to the emergency community whose needs they hope to represent for 2016-2018.

If you are interested in running, please contact the OAEM Election Coordinator at Voting will take place on May 13 at the AGM.

Candidate profiles to date:

Tim Lindsay, Emergency Management Coordinator, The Regional Municipality of Halton:

TimLindsayTim is a graduate of the Fleming College Post Graduate Program in Emergency Management and has completed numerous Emergency Management courses through OFMEM, JIBC and the Canadian Emergency Management College. In addition to being on the current OAEM Board, Tim is also a member of the Fleming College Emergency Management Program Advisory Committee.




Mike O’Brien, CEMC Burlington:
mikeobrienI am the CEMC for the City of Burlington. I have served on the OAEM board for the last two years as the Education Chair and the Vice President. During my time on the board I have increased the association’s online profile including the new OAEM website and social media sites. I have worked to foster ties with other DEM associations and student groups and helped develop joint professional development ventures with RCO. I would like to continue growing the association and the profession.



Nicole Pinto, Emergency Assistant, City of Vaughan:

Nicole PintoI am an emergency management professional and candidate for a Master of Arts in Disaster and Emergency Management at Royal Roads University. I am most experienced in community and health emergency management, and am currently the Emergency Assistant for the City of Vaughan. My previous roles have been in the capacity of emergency management with the City of Burlington and the Central Community Care Access Centre. I have been working on the OAEM Board for the past two years as the Student Board Member and Education Committee President. I have assisted with the development of the OAEM student mentorship program in order to create a greater student presence within the organization. My goal, as an OAEM Board Member, is to continue to build on the past work of the Board to create a well-connected network of professionals who actively participate in and benefit from OAEM initiatives.


Sarah Thompson, Emergency Management Research Analyst, City of Toronto: Sarah Thompson2After spending six years as an Emergency Social Services (ESS) responder, leading program implementation, IMS use in the field, and volunteer training, I took my passion for Emergency Management to academia. With my York University’s Master of Disaster and Emergency Management now complete, I am ready to help strengthen connections within and beyond the traditional EM community. To my relatively new home of Ontario, I bring a wide spectrum of knowledge from across Canadian EM programs, community groups and non-profits. Pair this with my formal education, and genuine passion for engagement and innovation in EM, and I believe I could be a dynamic and engaging presence on the OAEM board. If elected, I’d bring a new lens to OAEM’s main objective; to further the profession. I believe we can approach this goal though improved engagement; connecting and furthering the interests of EM professionals across industries.


Please note a change has been made with the voting process this year: Members attending the Friday afternoon meeting are allowed to bring 2 proxy votes only. These votes must only be for the members that have advised the Board in advance that they intend to run in the election at that meeting; for those who are nominated on the floor, proxy votes shall not be used for them. If you require a proxy vote form, please contact or download it here: OAEM AGM 2016 Proxy Form.


By Catherine Kenny, DEMSA Academic Liaison

The next cohort of emergency managers had an opportunity to get their feet wet earlier this month.

On March 12 and 13, 21 professionals and students—both undergraduate and graduate—from emergency management programs at Sheridan College and York University successfully completed IMS 200: Basic Incident Management System. The event was a joint effort offered by OAEM and the Disaster and Emergency Management Student Association (DEMSA) from York University.

“The course was a great initiative and success,” said DEMSA Chair Zalma Sahar. “We received a lot of positive feedback from all of the students. We’re hoping to have more certification courses like this available at YorkU to better equip our students to become great emergency managers in the field.”

Led by OAEM Vice President Mike O’Brien and York University MDEM graduate, Magda Sulzycki, participants were introduced to the process of commanding a simple incident, while learning about and implementing the key principles of IMS. Participants acted as the operations section within the IMS structure and worked through a case study based on a real incident, applying their knowledge through the creation of an Incident Action Plan.

Focusing on the response phase of an ever-changing incident, students were asked to prioritize response outcomes and allocate limited resources to achieve their goals. The hands-on experience this workshop provides introduced students to challenges they would likely face as professional emergency managers and useful tools for overcoming such challenges.

The event also allowed emergency management students of different institutions to network, learn with each other, and learn from one another. For students, the opportunity to learn from Mr. O’Brien and Ms. Sulzycki was particularly invaluable, given the facilitators’ combined years of professional and academic emergency management experience.

Both facilitators used anecdotes from their professional experiences to illuminate concepts and problems posed by the case study. DEMSA Chair Zalma Sahar says that certification courses like IMS 200 are imperative for emergency management students to understand how the concepts and theories they learn in school operate in the “real” world.

Resilient Communities Ontario and OAEM are hosting four unprecedented events bringing the building management industry and community together for a close-up look at the risks in your community. Find out how these risks may impact on property operations and how to mitigate, respond to and recover your business or residential operations.

Sessions will be held in Brampton, Kingston, London and North bay. Each session will provide an inside look at local emergency preparedness initiatives, trends, gaps and lessons so that you and your community are better prepared.


Property Managers, Security Managers, Residential Superintendents & Commercial Operations Managers, professionals Responsible for critical infrastructure buildings, industrial and retail, Emergency Managers, Safety & Security Officers.


Mr. Rob McDonald, President Ontario Association of Emergency Managers

Mr. Steven Hill, President, Resilient Communities Ontario

Mr. Jude Kelly,  Communications & Public Education Officer, Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal & Emergency ManagementJude Kelly

Ontario’s Emergency Public Warning System

The timely flow of information during an emergency is crucial to the security and safety of those most affected, including communities and responders. Ontario’s Emergency Public Warning System is a tool that provides timely and accurate information and warnings to Ontario residents, businesses and visitors during an emergency.




Mr. Jason D. Reid, Chair, Fire & Emergency Management Committee; Resilient Communities Ontario, Past Chair, BOMA Toronto; Emergency Management Committee; Building Owners & Managers Association of TorontoJason Reid

Preparing Communities through Prepared Property Management:Residential & Commercial High-rise: Life Safety & Emergency Planning

This unique session will review growing trends impacting building owners and property managers in Ontario—both commercial & Residential, including Fire & Evacuation Safety, best practices in conducting & documenting fire drills, and common challenges to the fire department response and how you can eliminate them to strengthen the safety of building occupants.. We will building critical infrastructure documentation, “Shelter In Place” Orders, and Persons Requiring Assistance During building emergencies.


Additional local speakers will be presenting at each event.

Brampton, February 16:  Event details and registration available here.

London, March 9: Event details and registration available here.

Kingston, March 22:  Event details and registration available here.

North Bay, April 7: Event details and registration available here.


Hosted by Resilient Communities Ontario and OAEM BusinessCardLogo

Resilient Communities Ontario (RCO) is a registered non-prot association of Property Management Professionals & Industry experts, with a goal of strengthening and maintaining a safe and secure network of resilient facilities and organizations (communities), including assets and systems vital to the continuity of operations of private and public interests.

Through proactive and coordinated efforts to promote safety and security, Resilient Communities Ontario strives to achieve resilience of operations, and prepare its community of members to withstand and swiftly recover from hazards.

To that end, RCO is committed to continuing development and education, and fostering of industry leading best practices among property managers and operators to assist in managing risks to their operations and assets. RCO is proud to be the Resilient Communities Ontario will support all property management associations.


Happy new year OAEM.

Now that we’re back from holidays armed with good intentions and new year resolutions (and maybe a few extra pounds), we thought we’d let you in on a few of our 2016 plans.

From launching a new website to growing our membership to hosting a couple stellar (not to mention sold-out) events, 2015 was a big year for OAEM—and we think 2016 is going to be even bigger.

Resilient Communities Ontario (RCO) and OAEM are hosting a series of professional development events that will help building managers and community members mitigate, prepare, respond and recover from emergencies. Aimed towards property managers, safety and security officers, operations managers and commercial and residential superintendents, the sessions will share lessons-learned, trends and preparedness initiatives not often discussed outside emergency management circles. Sessions will also include detailed information on the province’s public alerting program and presentations from the Ontario Fire Marshal & Emergency Management Office.

For those entering the field of emergency management, this year OAEM is pairing recent graduates (or soon-to-be grads) with seasoned emergency managers with our mentorship program. So far, all our eager grads and have been paired and are being shown the ropes (ie. the stuff they don’t teach in school).

Every year OAEM offers three student (cash!) awards for full-time Ontario-based students and this year we’re hoping to have a special guest present the awards. Details to come, so stay tuned.

Lastly, we’ve been busy planning the annual conference and general meeting—speakers list and full details should be available soon, but for now clear space in your calendar for May 12-13.

If there’s anything you want to see for 2016, let us know. Send me an email, leave a comment below or reach us on Facebook or Twitter.

It’s been six weeks since launching the new site and by all accounts, the changes have gone over well (hey, analytics don’t lie…and I haven’t gotten any hate mail—yet). We’ve had great feedback on the design, content and as alway, our events keep filling up (don’t worry if you didn’t get a spot in the CSA Z1600 course, we’ll run one again in the new year).

If you’re a member, you’ll have noticed our member area is now up and running. This is the place for you to connect with your fellow emergency managers. Have a burning question but don’t know who to ask? Throw it out in a forum and one of the smart OAEM minds should be able to help. Want to talk inside baseball among your group of [insert niche emergency management group here]? Forums are the place.

We also have a lot of great events coming up next week: the Public Sector Social Media Conference, CSA Z1600 and a disaster movie meet up with drinks and (free!) food to follow. Click the links for more info or to register.

I’ll be heading to Ottawa for the Public Sector Social Media Conference hosted by the Conference Board of Canada in partnership with OAEM. If you can’t make it but have questions on using social media in emergency management, send them my way and I’ll find answers while there. Of particular interest to the OAEM community, will be Dr. Kate Kaminska from DRDC and Boyd Neil from Hill + Knowlton speaking on social media and digital volunteers for disaster response. I’ll be live tweeting most of the time, so you can follow along at @miss_hannahz (or just search Hannah Z).

As always, feel free to get in touch if you want to contribute, like what you see, hate what you see or just want to say hi. (Hi!)

Grab your anemometer and join us at our first OAEM Disaster Movie Meet up!

OAEM invites the emergency management community and friends to join us for an exclusive screening of TWISTER (1996) at Carlton Cinema (20 Carlton St, Toronto ON) on October 28th. Movie starts at 7 p.m. sharp so make sure to be there early!

Following the movie there will be drinks (you pay) and food (we pay!) at Mick E Fynn’s (45 Carlton St Toronto, ON) at our après disaster social event.

Tickets are $20 at here at or $25 at the door. Seating is limited so make sure to book your tickets early. You don’t want to miss this.

If you have any questions please contact me at

—Katie Subbotina

Twister (1996)

Twister 2

Bill and Jo Harding, advanced storm chasers on the brink of divorce, must join together to create an advanced weather alert system by putting themselves in the cross-hairs of extremely violent tornadoes.

Director: Jan de Bont
Writers: Michael Crichton, Anne-Marie Martin
Stars: Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Cary Elwes