Dear Colleagues, fellow Emergency Management Professionals,

You may have seen the communications from the IAEM Canada board asking for nominations to the executive position of the IAEM Ontario Region. If you are like me and interested in the future of the emergency management profession, you probably had questions about this Ontario Region. I did, so I asked and found out thatseven Ontario emergency management professionals with good standing as membersof IAEM Canada had sent a request for the creation of this IAEM Ontario Region.

The IAEM Bylaw allows this as long as there is no existing region in the same province and as long as there are a minimum of six signatures on the request. The IAEM Canada board is now obligated to follow through on the request.

My concern is on how this will impact the profession in Ontario. I would like to have a discussion on this with as many of you as possible. I especially would like to hear the reasoning of the seven people who submitted the request. I do not know who they are and the IAEM Board respects the privacy of its members.

I am neither on the board of IAEM Canada nor OAEM although I have been active on both. While I hold a membership in both, I have no personal interest in either association, but I care for the profession. This is why I would like to invite you for a town hall meeting on the topic on January 22nd 2019, from 9am to noon, at the Century Gardens Community Centre, 340 Vodden Street East in Brampton. I know this is short term but the election for these positions has tobe done within three weeks of the request, so we have little time to discuss this. Brampton will be providing coffee and tea, with muffins and light snacks.

Please note that I will not tolerate the negative criticism of either IAEM or OAEM or any other organization for that matter including disparaging comments regarding board members, staff or executives.

To get an idea of how many people will attend, please send me a quick rsvp e-mail at

Town Hall meeting on the future of the emergency management profession in Ontario
January22, 2019, 09h00,
Century Gardens Community Centre,
340 Vodden Street East,Brampton


Alain Normand, Emergency Management Professional

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.

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!)