District of Sooke live wildfire training exercise scheduled on June 28th – please remain calm, this is only a test …
Staff from several departments within the District of Sooke – including the Fire Department, Planning, Development Services, Corporate Services, Community Safety, Wastewater, and the Emergency Program – are ramping up plans for the District’s annual exercise and training session, scheduled for Thursday, June 28, 2018 between 4:30pm to 9:30pm. Members of Sooke’s Emergency Support Services (ESS) team, Fire Incident Support Team (F.I.S.T.), Emergency Radio Group, RCMP, BC Ambulance Service, CRD Parks, and mutual aid partners Otter Point Fire and Metchosin Fire, have been invited to participate in the scenario.
The scenario involves a (theoretical) wildland fire that will be moving west to east, encroaching the Erinan Estates development. Erinan Estates will be the main area of impact with respect to structural protection, resident communications and evacuations; however, emergency responders will be on the ground at other pre-designated properties in Sooke as a result of the recent call out to the community – the District is appreciative of the number of residents who put their homes forward for this training exercise.
In response to the wildfire, Mayor Tait will declare a state of emergency; the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) will be activated; structures under threat will be protected; high-risk areas will be evacuated; and, evacuees will be invited (not required) to check-in at the Emergency Reception Centre, where volunteer ESS members will support them through a registration and referrals process. The Reception Centre will be located at the Edward Milne Community School (EMCS) gym at 6218 Sooke Road. All members of the public are welcome to visit the Reception Centre to observe and learn between 7:30pm and 9:00pm.
Residents are asked to be mindful of responding emergency personnel and vehicles, and to observe from a respectable distance. The purpose is to provide emergency responders and District staff with the invaluable opportunity to prepare and practice before being faced with a real incident. “As another dry summer approaches, it is critical that we bring emergency response stakeholders together to practice our skills and ensure a coordinated approach to disaster response,” offers Chief Mount. “This exercise will cover all aspects of an emergency situation, from detection of the threat to wrap-up and debrief.” Live training exercises help communities validate plans, develop staff competencies and test established procedures.
Kenn Mount, Fire Chief
Emergency Program Coordinator|Director of Community Safety
District of Sooke Fire Rescue Department – 2225 Otter Point Road
T. (250) 642.5422 F. (250) 642.3840