Many Elkford residents volunteer their time to provide Emergency services if required. Given that major incidents are few and far between it is most cost effective to train volunteers to perform emergency management roles and practice those roles regularly. In the rare instance where an emergency outstrips the Districts ability to respond residents can be assured that there is a dedicated group of volunteers and staff who can manage the incident, lessening the impact for all.
The District of Elkford participate in the Elk Valley and South Country Emergency Plan with the Regional District of East Kootenay. The Regional District employs a part time Emergency Coordinator to maintain and exercise the plan and the Director, Fire Rescue and Emergency Services also functions as a deputy Emergency Coordinator under this plan. The plan coordinates the response to Emergencies on the part of the District. If an event occurs which is beyond the scope of normal emergency operations the plan allows for the declaration of a state of local emergency which provides additional emergency powers to the District for the duration of the emergency. Emergency Planning encompasses the emergency response as well as prevention activities of the District which occur throughout the year and are also focused around emergency preparedness week. In 2011 emergency Preparedness week falls on May 1-7.
The following link will take you to a page that builds up to Emergency Preparedness week by providing a week by week activity which will build your capacity to recover from an emergency affecting the District of Elkford. In some cases during an emergency normal government activities may be restricted or absent as a result of the response – it is important for all Canadians to understand this and be prepared for up to 72 hours after the onset of a major emergency.
Emergency Social Services
In the event of a major emergency the possibility exists that Elkford residents may have to relocate or evacuate. If an evacuation takes place the many Elkford residents who volunteer their time to provide emergency social services will spring into action with Registration, Housing and other support services for those impacted. Many services which are provided during times of declared emergency are covered by application to the Provincial Emergency Program so these Emergency Social Services volunteers take great care in ensuring a proper record is made of who has been relocated, where and what has been provided them.
Search and Rescue
Elkford is fortunate to have a team of dedicated volunteer professionals who provide Search and Rescue services in the Elkford area and the Elk Valley. This groups of volunteers meets regularly to practice their skills at tracking, fast water rescue, avalanche rescue and recovery and many other vital skills. While all members provide their time as volunteers they are tasked to operate under the auspices of the RCMP and the Provincial Emergency Program. Funding for operations comes from the District of Elkford, the provincial emergency program for defined costs related to a specific tasking and from grants which the group applies for.