Red Cross simulating disaster in Sidney

The Canadian Red Cross Health Emergency Response Unit (ERU) training has been brought to B.C.

Members of the Canadian Red Cross set up tents in the parking lot of the Mary Winspear Centre this week for the emergency measures simulation taking place there.

The Canadian Red Cross Health Emergency Response Unit (ERU) training has been brought to B.C. for the first time and it’s been set up in Sidney.

“Sidney and the Mary Winspear Centre seemed to be ideal place to set this up,” explained Director of Emergencies and Recovery for the Red Cross, Hossam Elsharkawi.

“It’s near an airport and has the appropriate facilities, so it made sense.”

The Red Cross ERU is a standardized package of both trained personnel and modules of equipment that are ready to be deployed within 24 – 48 hours to areas hit by a catastrophic disaster. It was set up through the week behind the Winspear Centre and simulations will run until the end of day today (Friday), said Elsharkawi.

“We have a core team here of doctors, nurses, technicians, administrators, social workers and more,” he explained.

“There are 40 people here participating in the training, 10 of which have traveled here from other countries like Colombia and Mexico to participate in this.”

The simulation is held annually, usually near the Toronto Pearson Internation Airport, and serves to give hands on disaster training to members of the Red Cross.

“It’s the first time we’ve left Ontario,” said Elsharkawi, adding that the reason for coming to B.C. stems from a new agreement between the B.C. government and the Red Cross.

The province of B.C. and the Red Cross formalized a partnership in 2012 — the first of its kind in Canada — to help ensure timely and effective deployment of national or international ERUs as temporary resources to assist B.C. in times of a catastrophic disaster.

“The aim of the simulation is to increase the level of preparedness. With this type of work there’s really no substitute for the hands on training,” he said.

The simulation centred around a massive earthquake scenario.

“Mass casualties are simulated, as well as issues with electricity and power, infrastructure engineering and so on,” Elsharkawi said.

The memorandum of agreement the Red Cross has with the province is unique, Elsharkawi said.

“Other provinces are definitely watching closely.”

 

Just Posted

Fake crash warns students about real consequences

Saanich Peninsula emergency crews warn against distracted driving

Sidney house fire caused by unattended appliance

Saanich Peninsula fire crews were called to a kitchen fire in Sidney… Continue reading

Feasting geese concern farmers

For farmers on the Saanich Peninsula, cereal crops like corn are starting… Continue reading

Cycling Without Age raises funds for program

Free rides for seniors coming to Sidney

Feast of Fields settles in for the summer of 2018

Vancouver Island Feast set for Kildara Farms in North Saanich on Aug. 26

New stage highlight of Brentwood Bay Festival

Peninsula Country Market vendors and music accompany start of summer celebration

BC Ferries posts strong earnings before rate cuts

Last year highest ever for vehicle traffic, most walk-ons in 20 years

Snapchat used to make mass shooting threat in Kamloops

RCMP did not dub the threat a hoax, instead called it “unsubstantiated”

B.C. groups file response to government’s fight against solitary confinement

B.C. Supreme Court judge suspended ruling for one year to give government time to draft legislation

Driver hospitalized after truck hits pole on Malahat

The pole prevented the red truck from travelling down a steep embankment.

National sports organizations have to report allegations of abuse immediately

Sporting organizations will lose federal funding if abuse goes unreported, says Kirsty Duncan

BC conservation officers release badger from wolf trap

Badger recovering after being caught in trap near Williams Lake

B.C. Christian school mulls covenant, future of law school after court ruling

The university still wants to open a law school, but is looking at its options.

Ultra-low cost airline to launch in B.C. this week

Swoop destinations include Abbotsford, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Halifax and Edmonton

Most Read