Program Overview



0800 – 0845 Grand Ballroom C & D Foyer


Registration and Continental Breakfast


0845 – 0900 Grand Ballroom A & B


Conference Opening and Welcome


Bill White


Pacific Northwest Preparedness Society

Glen Magel


Emergency Preparedness for Industry and Commerce Council

0900 – 1000 Grand Ballroom C & D Foyer


Plenary 1

Terrorism in the Capital, October 22nd, 2014


Sean McDade

Inspector, Ottawa Police Service,

Ottawa, Ontario

This is a presentation of the terrorist event that occurred in Ottawa on October 22nd, 2014. Sean McDade was the Incident Commander and he will take us on a close chronological look at the unprecedented event (in Ottawa). The threat of terrorism is very real and continues. Inspector McDade will discuss many aspects of the day including:

·         Jurisdictional responsibilities between multiple agencies (managing complex and competing interests)

·         The role of each agency including Office of Emergency Management (City Hall location relative to incident and lock-down restrictions)

·         How some aspects of the police response were extremely effective and others are being reviewed for improvement


1000 – 1100 Grand Ballroom C & D Foyer


Networking & Refreshment Break


Get to Know the Exhibitors


1100 – 1200 SESSIONS A



Ebola Virus Disease Response and Other Health Threats


Dr. Bonnie Henry

Deputy Provincial Health Officer, Office of the PHS

Victoria, BC


This session will review Ebola preparedness and response in both in BC and in Africa. British Columbia and most of Canada ramped up preparedness significantly to ensure readiness if anyone presented at a healthcare site with suspect symptoms and travel history that would put them at risk for Ebola Virus Disease. Many local healthcare professionals supported Ebola response in Africa and some of their experiences will be shared in this session. Current health threats will be reviewed including examining realities and risks.



Disaster Staging Areas – Vancouver’s approach to initial earthquake response


Daniel Stevens

Director of Emergency Management

City of Vancouver, British Columbia

D. Patrick Ryan, M.Sc., P.Eng.

Chief Building Official

City of Vancouver, British Columbia


Earthquakes may damage our communications infrastructure and our ability to actively call-in responders, but they also have their own “built-in” notification system which is an automatic call-to-action. This session will focus on Vancouver’s automatic initial response plans for earthquakes, highlighting their Disaster Staging Area system and the key functions associated with them: Windshield Assessment, Rapid Damage Assessment, and Road Network Clearing. The session will explore how the Disaster Staging Areas fit into the overall response framework, the equipment and supplies located at the Disaster Staging Areas, and some upcoming initiatives related to the earthquake response in the City. The audience will be invited to critique the system, discuss how such a system may apply to other areas, and share information on their plans.



Operation SECURUS and Critical Infrastructure Protection


Corporal Len van Nieuwenhuizen

E INSET CTIO Coordinator

RCMP, E Division

Surrey, British Columbia

C/M Julie Wytrwal

Criminal Intelligence Analyst

RCMP, E Division

Surrey, British Columbia


Operation SECURUS is a partnership between law enforcement and businesses. Its purpose is to identity, inform and build relationships with businesses that provide a service, or product, that may assist a criminal or terrorist group in carrying out an attack, and aims to protect people, critical infrastructure and key resources throughout British Columbia.


In this session, RCMP staff will inform us about Operation SECURUS, national security programs, critical infrastructure protection, and realities of terrorist threats in Canada.



Emergency Management and Mass Care


Reg Fountain

Manager, Emergency Management and BCP

University of British Columbia

Vancouver, British Columbia

On any given day, there may be 100,000 people on the grounds of the University of British Columbia Vancouver (UBC-V). In addition to the academic, research, administrative and student residence infrastructure, UBC-V is also responsible for the nearly 10,000 residents who are part of the University Neighbourhoods Association and other community partners. This demographic ranges from young families with infants, children and pets to seniors (ambulatory and non-ambulatory) including those individuals who are receiving palliative care (St John’s Hospice).


UBC has adopted a new approach to emergency management and the issues surrounding the provision of mass care. In the event of a major emergency (e.g. earthquake) UBC-V is prepared to provide emergency services to the entire community. This presentation will describe UBC-V’s new approach to emergency management and the subject of mass care.



Business Continuity Planning 101 – Back to Basics


Lisa Benini, MBCP, AFBCI, CRM

ISO 22301 Lead Implementer

Victoria, British Columbia

Have we complicated business continuity planning so much that Management is afraid to go near it because it takes too long and requires too many resources? Perhaps you are doubting the need to do business continuity planning for your organization because the process sounds so daunting.


If any of this describes your past or present experiences then attending this session may help you with a way forward. Lisa Benini will discuss a simpler approach to getting your organization prepared for a disaster. She will discuss ways to fast track your approach as well as simplify the process to get a plan in place and staff ready to respond.


This presentation will appeal to those just starting out as well as those experienced planner looking for new ways to implement business continuity.



Why should organizations audit their Emergency Management Program?


Heather Tomsic

Standards, Training & Communications Coordinator,

Safety, Security & Emergency Management Division,

Corporate Services Division, Metro Vancouver

Burnaby, British Columbia


Identifying areas of strength, gaps and critical growth requirements, many of which are not readily discovered during Plan testing, by using an effective Emergency Management Program Audit process, provides the organization with a base for sustainable, defensible and progressive Program improvement over both the short and long term.


In this session, rather than introducing a complex, time-consuming and burdensome audit tool, Heather proposes that eight key leading indicators of Emergency Management be assessed. She will identify how additional allocation of resources, time or effort can be avoided, resulting in a cost saving for the organization as it identifies and resolves identified deficiencies in a systematic and prioritized way. Learn how organizational efforts can be rationally focussed within the identified Emergency Management Program areas requiring improvements as managers recognize their necessity, integrating these activities into operational norms.


1200 – 1330 Grand Ballroom A & B




1330 – 1430 SESSIONS B



Nepal Response


Shawn Carby

Senior Manager, Protective Services

Capital Regional District

Victoria, British Columbia

Relief organizations and international aid flocked to Nepal as soon as possible to assist the citizens and government so terribly impacted by the 7.8 + 7.3  earthquakes that occurred in April and May, 2015.  The World Health Organization had done a lot of work for many years in Nepal, to help prepare for such an event.   Shawn Carby acted as the Incident Commander for GlobalMedic, one of the many helpful NGO’s supporting Nepal with disaster relief, shelter and clean drinking water.  He will share his response experiences, and review how the UN’s pre-planning, in country mitigation, and training affected response and survivability of these two major earthquakes. He will also explore some of the issues we as British Columbians would face when dealing with large amounts of internally displaced persons, evacuees, and loss of critical infrastructure if we were impacted by the same type of event.  



Critical Infrastructure Assessments for Local Authorities


Darren Blackburn
Program Manager,

Justice Institute of BC - School of Public Safety

New Westminster, British Columbia

For local governments, critical infrastructure planning can be a daunting task. It’s not uncommon to ask - which assets should I look at? How are they related? And what does ‘critical’ even mean? This session explores straightforward methods and tools for local governments to implement a successful CI assessment program.  

Participants will learn about:

·         Ways to identify local government-owned critical infrastructure assets

·         Methods for summarizing the goods and services provided by the local authority to community members

·         Identifying significant dependencies between the services offered by local governments and the assets they depend on, and

·         Planning for critical assets management across the four pillars of emergency management.


Materials will include documents to train staff in the CI assessment process, Excel spreadsheets to organize data, and guidance documents describing the process to be followed. Participants do not need prior experience with critical infrastructure to benefit from attending. Copies of the materials and tools used in the session will be made available to all participants. With the hazard of a major tsunami facing the west coasts of the United States and Canada, innovative mitigation efforts are necessary to protect lives and property from a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and tsunami. Recent multidisciplinary work in tsunami mitigation innovation gives businesses, local emergency managers, response agencies, state and provincial agencies new tools to develop programs able to achieve the core mission of saving lives and property.



Emergency Exercises: St. Paul’s Hospital and YVR


Beth Larcombe

Consultant, Emergency Management

Health Emergency Management BC

Vancouver, British Columbia

Cal Currie

Manager, Emergency Planning

Vancouver International Airport

Richmond, British Columbia


During this session, two larger-scale emergency exercises held in the lower mainland earlier this year will be reviewed. In March, St. Paul’s hospital, staff, contractors and the Vancouver Police Department conducted and filmed a violent hostage-taking exercise, with both site response and EOC components. It was time to rehearse such a dreaded event and develop training aids for all staff that could potentially be involved.  Beth will discuss the exercise and show one of the resulting videos.


In April, the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) held its biennial full-scale crash exercise involving 30 agencies and over six-hundred participants. The ability to successfully mitigate and recover from a major incident requires multiple agencies to operate cohesively through the use of a Unified Command system. YVR Emergency Planning staff will discuss the exercise, and in particular, their focus on Unified Command which was a key objective for the airport and major first-response agencies.  



Animals in Disasters


Cheryl Rogers

National Coordinator,

Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team (CDART)

Pitt Meadows, British Columbia


In the tragic aftermath of disasters over the past twenty years, we have learned that disaster planning for individuals, for communities, and for many businesses must include animals. Cheryl will discuss why emergency planning for animals is a necessity for individuals and animal-focused businesses, as well as being a critical element in community disaster response strategies. Communication between affected groups and integration of disaster plans provide for a better response which allows for a quicker recovery. Ensuring animals are included in disaster mitigation/response/recovery plans creates a holistic approach to emergency management.


This presentation will cover the four pillars of emergency management planning: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Attendees will leave with basic tools both to manage personal and business preparedness and to launch animal disaster preparedness initiatives in their communities. Handout materials will include copies of the presentation, forms to use for animal response, qualities and skills preferred for animal responders and CDART contact information.


CDART was founded in 2003 after wildfires in BC. Our mission is to provide emergency services for domestic animals and to train volunteers in order that they can provide emergency shelter and rescue for domestic animals when responding during a disaster.



Benefits and considerations of implementing a BCP on-line database tool


Susanne Mackinnon

Manager, Business Continuity

Health Emergency Management BC, Provincial Health Services Authority

Vancouver, British Columbia


The Health Emergency Management Assessment Tool (HEMAT) is a customized online database designed to guide the end-user through the BCP process with easy how to steps. Where possible, information is standardized to ensure consistency in data collection. Some of the positive outcomes of developing a customized online database are:

·         End user friendly with significantly less input time

·         BCP program that can be sustained over large, complex organization(s)

·         Provided valuable data that can be utilized instantly for situational awareness, trends and measured over time


Session Objectives:

·         Lean about the strengths and weaknesses of implementing a customized system

·         Determine the resources and considerations for the design of a database tool

·         View an example of a customized database tool



Supporting a consistent approach to Emergency Management across British Columbia


Speaker to be confirmed

Emergency Management BC

Victoria, British Columbia


In the spring of 2014, Emergency Management British Columbia (EMBC) published a new Strategic Plan for the three years leading up to March 31, 2017. One of the key objectives within the plan was to enhance engagement with local authorities with the intent of providing an improved level of support to their local authority emergency management programs.  A key initiative was not only to create a strategy for the next three years on how EMBC could better improve its support and engagement with local authority emergency management staff, but also provide them with an emergency management template that would allow for a consistent scalable approach to emergency management plans across British Columbia.


The session will take participants through the key components of the new template and hold a short discussion on the different situations local authorities find themselves in when trying to write a plan that is sufficient for the numerous hazards they face within their communities.


1430 – 1500 Grand Ballroom C & D Foyer


Networking & Refreshment Break


1500 – 1630 Grand Ballroom A & B


Plenary 2

BCERMS to BCEMS and the BC Earthquake Immediate Response Plan


Heather Lyle

Director, Integrated Public Safety

Emergency Management BC

Surrey, British Columbia

Kathryn Forge

A/Manager, Integrated Planning

Emergency Management BC

Saanichton, British Columbia


The session will include two Emergency Management British Columbia (EMBC) updates to Provincial initiatives. The first presentation will highlight the integrated approach undertaken to update, enhance and expand British Columbia Emergency Response Management System (BCERMS) to the British Columbia Emergency Management System (BCEMS), inclusive of all four phases of emergency management.  The presentation will highlight the process used to develop a new, “refreshed” BCEMS Guide, utilizing a forum that bridged academia with practitioners from all levels of government and stakeholder agencies in the field of emergency management. The new BCEMS reflects organizational changes, evidence-based research, operational experience and various shifts and advancements in the field of public safety.  Heather will share both successes and challenges experienced throughout the ambitious project, reflecting on the diversity of the working groups involved with an aim to ensure appropriate representation and “a voice” from stakeholders from across the province. 


In the second half, Kathryn Forge will discuss the BC Earthquake Immediate Response Plan.  EMBC is responsible for leading the management of provincial level emergencies and disasters and supporting other authorities within their areas of jurisdiction. As such, EMBC has made a commitment to British Columbians to lead the development of a comprehensive, provincial earthquake plan. The BC Earthquake Immediate Response Plan (IRP) is the first component of this comprehensive plan and sets the conditions for the subsequent planning efforts: sustained response and recovery. The IRP details how the Province will lead and coordinate during the immediate response phase and articulates the roles, responsibilities and integration of the provincial government, its agencies, and partners.


1700 – 1800


Annual General Meeting of the BC Association of Emergency Managers




 0745 – 0830 Grand Ballroom C & D Foyer


Continental Breakfast


 0830 – 1000 Grand Ballroom A & B


Plenary 3

Role of Transportation in Emergency Preparedness and Response


Marla Blagg
Emergency Manager

BART Police Department

Oakland, California, USA

Ashok Bhatti, B.COMM

District Manager Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

Coquitlam, British Columbia

John Oakley

Organizational Resiliency Strategist


New Westminster, British Columbia


Disasters stretch the resilience of organizations and collective learning is essential for preparedness and response.  Critical infrastructure systems – including transportation – play an essential role in community-wide disaster mitigation, response and recovery.  This plenary session will focus on the experience and emergency planning of three very diverse transportation agencies including:

·         The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transportation Agency (BART) emergency management plan and lessons learned from recent and past events that have impacted this area.

·         The developing role of Regional Transportation Management Centre (RTMC) with current examples of use and future use during larger regional wide events. 

·         Developing resilience to disasters within the Metro Vancouver regional area using the current multi-modal transportation system and discussion about future integrated transportation and community plans


1000 – 1030 Grand Ballroom C & D Foyer


Networking & Refreshment Break


1030 – 1200 SESSIONS C



Two SIMTEC Projects: Psychosocial Needs of Health Care Providers and Decision Making in EOC’s During a Disaster


Laurie Pearce

Research Chair,

Justice Institute of BC

New Westminster, British Columbia


The Simulation Training and Exercise Collaboratory (SIMTEC): Enhancing CBRNE Psychosocial Capacity and Capability Management research project is multi-faceted and includes the development of exercises involving severe winter weather, terrorism, an active shooter, a disease outbreak and a megathrust earthquake. Findings of two of these exercises will be discussed in this session.


It seems that every week the media is reporting on the stressors of health care providers in meeting the day-to-day needs of their patients. Now, compound that stress to include the extra demands placed on those same health care providers in a pandemic or disease outbreak. Similarly, while many communities have developed plans to cope with several natural hazards, the demands during a pandemic have often not yet been properly assessed.


This presentation will provide new insights as to the issues that potentially result in negative psychosocial impacts in health care providers and community-based first responders. Potential impacts can be accurately identified based on past events and many of these impacts were replicated in Outbreak Orange. Organizations providing health care and communities can benefit from a better understanding of the issues facing first receivers and responders and implementing better practices in dealing with day-to-day roles and responsibilities that can be applied when disasters occur.


The session will also cover Decision Making in EOC’s. Disasters are not just big emergencies. They present decision makers with unfamiliar situations; often requiring innovation and an ability to deal with simultaneous, high risk/high consequence decisions with inadequate information. This presentation will explore the ways in which decisions are made and present strategies to improve the quality of those decisions. Based on the findings of all the exercises, this presentation will present the types and scope of decision that were made and discuss the results. While many decisions are made quickly, and based on previous experience and training, when new and different problems arise decision making processes change – often resulting in no decision being made, a deferred decision or a decision which fails to recognize some of the key factors.


This presentation will provide new insights to support EOC decision makers. The findings will present issues including ethical dilemmas in high consequence/high risk decisions, tunnel vision, the results of deferring decisions, the role of gender when making decisions, and the level of psychosocial stress associated with certain decisions. Participants will also be given tools and processes to assist in making better decisions in times of chaos and confusion.



All Hazard Integrated Regional Concept of Operations – Building a Working Model Government; and Is Interoperability the Elusive Unicorn of Emergency Communications?


Clarence Lai

Senior Project Manager,

Integrated Partnership for Regional Emergency Management (IPREM)

Surrey, British Columbia

John Leeburn

Chief Administrative Officer

City of Port Coquitlam

British Columbia

Chad Pacholik

Senior Project Manager,

Integrated Partnership for Regional Emergency Management (IPREM)

Surrey, British Columbia


All Hazard Integrated Regional Concept of Operations

Local Authorities within Metro Vancouver have had limited experience with emergency events of regional significance. Identified was a need for a mechanism to determine regional priorities, influence regional decision making and expedite the sharing of critical resources. The All Hazard Integrated Regional Concept of Operations is the tested mechanism that gives Metro Vancouver a more cohesive coordinated response to impacts from an event of regional significance. Participants will learn about steps used to build a collaborative, consensus model for regional decision making. Presented in a Metro Vancouver context this model is adaptable and flexible allowing it to be adapted for use in any regional context. Participants will come away with a clear understanding of the steps used to build a regional consensus model and a PDF copy of the Regional Advisory Group Guide for Metro Vancouver.


Is Interoperability the Elusive Unicorn of Emergency Communications?

During this session we will also explore emergency communications and some of its building blocks- including the illusive unicorn called interoperability. Using research from other jurisdictions we will look at different ways to define and achieve interoperability. Participants will hear about some of the achievements and challenges that have been made in BC and abroad. After exploring interoperability as a concept we will broaden our lens to ask:

·       How does interoperability fit into the bigger picture of emergency communications and information management?

·       Has discussing “interoperability” added to, or taken away from attaining predictable emergency communication?


Throughout the session, examples, tools and templates will be introduced as a reference and attendees will be given advice on what can be done to capture and tame the interoperability unicorn. Participants will also come away the IPREM Regional Emergency Communications Strategy and links to resources and references.



Neighbourhood Emergency Assistance Team (NEAT)


Brian Bogdanovich

Captain, Vancouver Fire & Rescue Svcs

Vancouver, British Columbia

Lieutenant Ron Ewert

Lieutenant, Vancouver Fire & Rescue Svcs

Vancouver, British Columbia


Vancouver Fire Rescue staff will familiarize attendees with all key aspects of the Neighbourhood Emergency Assistance Team (NEAT) and the training program. NEAT is a team of trained volunteers who support professional emergency responders in times of a disaster, such as an earthquake. The program is designed to help residents protect themselves, their families, neighbours, and neighbourhoods in an emergency situation. During a natural or human caused disaster, NEAT members are trained to respond and assist and:

·       Use the City's Dedicated Fire Protection System

·       Provide basic medical aid, including evacuating victims and casualties

·       Locate victims and resources

·       Have basic radio skills

·       Operate within the Incident Command System

·       Collect disaster intelligence to support the efforts of first responders like fire, police, and ambulance



Vancouver Emergency Social Services and,

An overview of a National Volunteer Emergency Management model for Canada


Jackie Kloosterboer

Emergency Planning Coordinator

City of Vancouver

Vancouver, British Columbia

Danielle Friebe, BSWMA

Emergency Social Services Specialist

Emergency Management BC

Saanichton, British Columbia

Volunteers - The Success of our ESS Teams

Without Emergency Social Services (ESS) there would be nobody to setup, run or mange our Reception or Group Lodging Centres, nobody to respond to the house and apartment fires we so often see across our communities. ESS Volunteers are relied upon to help those who have been displaced. Across our Province, ESS Teams struggle with retaining our Volunteers. We train them, we educate them, we have exercises but then what - how do we keep them engaged so we don’t lose them to other organizations.


During the 2010 Olympics, Vancouver was flooded with the “Blue – Jacket” volunteers - volunteers who were ready to help. Vancouver is recapturing that by developing the Vancouver Volunteer Corps (VVC) which is now almost 1,000 volunteers trained to help out at community events - but even more important, volunteers are also trained to help in a disaster response. As part of their training VVC volunteers receive training in ICS, radio communications, team building and team dynamics. They are trained to be the City’s eyes and ears at community events should anything outside of the ordinary occur. Our ESS volunteers have joined forces with the VVC – helping keep our volunteers engaged and ready to respond when needed. Is it a perfect system – no – but it’s definitely a step in the right direction to keep our ESS Volunteers on board and ready to respond when the Big One Hits! In this session Jackie will:

·         Highlight challenges faced by ESS teams in retaining volunteers

·         Look at opportunities that may already exist in our communities to utilize volunteers during times of no disaster


National Volunteers EM Model

There are interesting new concepts for volunteers/disaster response programs including improved integration of the voluntary sector into technical EM roles. The approach represents significant value for money for all levels of government. It also directly supports the development of community resilience, by training and empowering community members to take a proactive role in risk reduction and incident response


Danielle is on a working group that is exploring the development of a potential new national volunteer disaster relief organization. In June of this year, she went to Germany with other representatives from the working group and she will share knowledge from her trip and on the status of such concepts which are being further explored by our strategic allies (US, Germany, New Zealand etc.)



The nexus between Cybersecurity and Business Continuity Management


Eric Rae,

Senior Manager,

Cyber Security Services


Vancouver, British Columbia

Chander Bethwani

Senior Manager,

Risk Consulting


Vancouver, British Columbia


Our world is changing at an unanticipated pace and our dependence on technology and systems to go about our day to day lives is unprecedented. These systems whether they support our critical infrastructure or banking activities are generally connected to the internet and hence at some point vulnerable to cyber-attacks and the threat of being unavailable or inaccessible. The issue is not IF a breach will happen but what do we do WHEN it does.


There are a number of preventive and detective activities that organizations need to think about to manage their risk around key systems and ensuring continuity. To take a holistic approach, it is also important to align business continuity and disaster recovery activities with the cybersecurity strategy to achieve seamless integration and response in the event of a major cyber disruption. The presentation will focus on some leading practices and practical advice to integrate business continuity management with cybersecurity to provide true resilience in this area.



Damage Assessments – Learning from Christchurch Best Practices


Carol McClintock
Director of Organizational Learning

Emergency Management BC

Saanichton, British Columbia.

Steven Bibby

Senior Manager,

Security and Emergency Services

Burnaby, British Columbia

Mike Andrews

Emergency Planning Officer

North Shore Emergency Management Office,

North Vancouver, B.C.

From 2000 to 2009, earthquakes caused a global annual average of $US 18.65 billion in total economic damage. This estimate incorporated the effects of physical damage to the built environment, health care costs, and losses in economic productivity. In British Columbia, the earthquake risk is relatively high and there have been 7 moderate to large earthquakes that have occurred within 250km of Vancouver and Victoria over the last 130 years.

The Christchurch, New Zealand earthquakes of 2011 and 2012 are of particular relevance to this workshop because scientists have noted that an earthquake of the same magnitude in Victoria would result in similar structural impacts due to comparable age and construction to what exists in Victoria, British Columbia. Unreinforced masonry buildings in Christchurch were the most heavily impacted, and caused the greatest loss of life by the earthquake. A similar shallow crustal earthquake in British Columbia poses a significant risk to public safety and a magnitude 6.8 would cause older building stock in the downtown region to suffer damage comparable with that observed in Christchurch.

Following a major earthquake, the ability to rapidly assess the level of building damage is essential to ensure effective disaster management and response. Timely damage assessment information is part of crucial situational awareness for decision-making and determining where critical, scarce or limited resources must be deployed. This session will explore best practices associated with rapid damage assessment based on available learning from Christchurch and other jurisdictions impacted by emergencies and disasters. In addition, we will explore the dynamics that influence these practices to enhance preparedness to support damage assessment practices in the future in the event of a major earthquake in British Columbia.


1200 – 1330 Grand Ballroom A & B



1245 Award Presentations


1330 – 1430 SESSIONS D



First Nations Health Authority – Emergency Management


David Reid

Manager, Emergency Management

First Nations Health Authority

North Vancouver, British Columbia






The new health authority which took over the administration of federal health programs and services previously delivered by Health Canada, is working with the province and First Nations to address service gaps through new partnerships, closer collaboration, and health systems innovation. As with all of the Health Authorities in BC, there is also a need for emergency management services and Dave will walk us through some of his responsibilities and EM initiatives including:

·       An overview of FNHA Emergency Management

·       First Responder Training for First Nation Communities

·       Pandemic Planning

·       2015 Responses



Enhanced EM Practices through GIS technology


Patrick McCabe, MA DEM

Emergency Management Officer

City of Calgary

Calgary, Alberta


Enhanced Emergency Management (EM) Practices through Geographic Information System (GIS) technology is no longer considered to be just a tool for emergency management, but is rather becoming a medium that has enhanced the meaning of a host of emergency management practices and is directly impacting the development of this growing discipline. It is becoming the first consideration for hosting preparedness activities, the first tool used for analyzing emerging situations, and the first means by which emergency managers demonstrate recovery and conduct post-event analysis.


The importance of GIS technology for emergency management, coupled with the fact that Calgary is arguably the disaster capital of Canada, has led to the implementation of one of the most advanced GIS applications utilized by any municipality in North America, the Common Operating Picture (COP). The COP is the medium through which the Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) coordinates many of its emergency management activities, and the medium by which many emergency management problems are being solved.


The COP is utilized to host data relating to Calgary’s critical infrastructure, flood plains, vulnerable populations, and dozens of other layers that may be needed for any given disaster. Additionally, the COP hosts streams of data from members and agency partners of CEMA, so emergency personnel can instantly see the location of fire, police, and EMS calls, while also being able to stream data related to the weather, river volumes, wind speeds, road blocks, geo-tagged social media, and Calgary’s traffic camera network.



Aviation Management Interoperability for Emergency Response and Recovery Support in British Columbia


Steve Newton

Regional Manager

Emergency Management BC

Central Region, British Columbia

Martin Torn,


Selkirk Systems

Victoria, British Columbia


Currently, the Province of British Columbia through Emergency Management BC (EMBC) is engaged in extensive planning activities around its response to, and recovery from, a catastrophic earthquake event. This activity will produce strategic and operational plans, and spans 3 phases over 3 fiscal years:

  • 2014/15 – Initial Response Planning
  • 2015/16 – Sustained Response Planning
  • 2016/17 – Recovery Planning


Most post-event review literature indicates in many cases, aircraft have been rapidly deployed to a catastrophic event with little or no coordinated operational oversight in place. Issues around aviation safety, ineffective resource utilization, and delays in medical patient transport, and rescue are not uncommon. EMBC has engaged the provincial Wildfire Service and BC Ambulance Service as key partners, and the larger stakeholder community comprising local governments, critical infrastructure owners, government ministries, and various response and regulatory organizations as consulting partners, to develop a scalable provincial and regional air branch model for catastrophic events.


This project will deliver a provincial plan and protocols for initiating the air branch model, procuring aircraft, and aircraft resource requesting, air mission prioritization, and tasking. It will develop and test, as a proof of concept, a technology interoperability tool that will allow EM systems from the key partners to exchange aircraft resource requesting data, as well as a web based tool for external stakeholders.


Speakers will present a project overview and seek to engage some elements of the larger EM community in the development of the plan.



Lessons from examining Homelessness from a Disaster EM Perspective


Tim Walshaw


Masters of Arts Disaster Management,

Royal Roads University

Victoria, British Columbia


Individuals experiencing homelessness were often ignored in Disaster Emergency Management planning before Hurricane Katrina exposed the issue.  Many cities have large populations of homeless who are not considered specifically in plans for larger disasters.  Victoria expects a 33% chance of a major earthquake in the next 50 years due to the proximity of a subduction zone off the coast of North America.   Victoria also has a homeless population over 1500. The city emergency program cooperates with organizations serving the homeless when activating its cold weather plan in winter, but needed more information to plan for larger disasters.


A study was conducted in 2015 to determine the capability gap of organizations serving the homeless in the face of a major disaster.  Semi-structured interviews were conducted with major organizations serving the homeless in the Victoria area to determine and where possible, quantify services given, as well as the extent to which are ready to carry on after an earthquake.  Questions pertaining to the training of volunteers were also asked to determine suitability of emergent responders to bolster numbers.  Data is presented in terms of type and quantity being provided now, and organizations’ ability to carry on after an earthquake is rated.   Methodology, resilience, vulnerability and future research questions will be discussed.  Recommendations are also made for stockpile planning, location of emergency shelters and treatment of the homeless and the volunteers caring for them post-disaster.



BCI or DRI – What is the right choice as a professional?

Clive Dunn, FBCI, CRM

President of Acredo Consulting Inc

Vancouver, British Columbia

Milen Kutev, MBCP, SCPM, PMP

Business Continuity Program Manager, BCAA

Vancouver, British Columbia

The Business Continuity Institute (BCI) and the Disaster Recovery Institute (DRI) appear to be very similar, and in many ways they are. But what is the relative value, for a continuity professional, to be involved with one or both of these organizations – are you struggling with this decision?


Representatives from both BCI and DRI will present their business cases for membership and certification and session attendees may ask questions to help them evaluate in an informal conversation. Audience participation will be strongly encouraged.



Communicating Dam Risks


Lawrence Pillon

Corporate Affairs Manager

BC Hydro

Vancouver, British Columbia

Tara Laycock

Senior Emergency Manager

BC Hydro

Vancouver, British Columbia


BC Hydro has embarked on an aggressive 10 year capital plan, part of which includes $1.9B earmarked for Dam Safety upgrades. These upgrades address seismic withstand, post-seismic operability of spillway systems and general ageing of infrastructure. The plan was developed in view of realistic limitations with both internal and external technical resources. As such, there are some upgrades that are not currently considered feasible, and projects where final risk reduction may not be achieved for decades. In these cases, alternative risk mitigation measures are required. In late 2014, BC Hydro released the results of its six-year Probabilistic Seismic Hazards Analysis (PSHA) of all of its dam sites in the province. The study identified increased hazards on the Campbell, Jordan and Bridge river systems. Various approaches are being used to deal with these challenges: lowering of operating reservoir levels, downstream property purchase plans and public education of the inundation risk. Each of these approaches required significant public and First Nations engagement, including joint emergency planning and earthquake preparedness, particularly on Vancouver Island, and co-ordination with Provincial government agencies.


The presentation will share insights into BC Hydro’s communications strategy that included an integrated team of professionals from dam safety, emergency management, communications, legal, properties and generation engineering. Various communications materials will be showcased used to explain this complex story to the public and insights into the communications planning process that spanned nearly six months.


1430 – 1500 Grand Ballroom C & D Foyer


Networking & Refreshment Break


1500 – 1630 Grand Ballroom A & B


Plenary 4

Emergency Management Issues for Pipelines


Patrick Smyth

Vice President, Safety and Engineering,

Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA)

Calgary, Alberta


This presentation will discuss how the transmission pipeline industry’s top priority is safety. This is a timely topic considering the operating landscape for the pipeline industry has changed dramatically over the past seven years. The public remains critical of the environmental damage caused by industry and are skeptical of clean-up efforts by industries’ such as the pipeline industry. However, the fact remains that pipelines have operated safely and efficiently in Canada for decades.


The session will also speak to the pipeline industry’s collaborative approach to emergency response - starting with the belief that “one company’s incident is everyone’s incident”. Patrick will provide an overview on how industry has come together to establish the first-ever Mutual Emergency Assistance Agreement and CEPA Integrity First – a program aimed at enhancing pipeline performance through collaboration and the development and sharing of best practices. He will also share how these efforts and the development of innovative technologies, will improve performance in emergency response time. Furthermore, the need for strong safety cultures to exist throughout every organization and the industry as a whole, and industry’s support for recent government actions to enhance pipeline safety in Canada will also be discussed.


1700 – 1900 Pavilion Ballroom


Social Night

Come to our social night event to relax and unwind and catch up with your colleagues in the emergency management and business continuity fields.




0745 – 0830 Junior Ballroom Foyer


Continental Breakfast


0830 – 1000 Junior Ballroom


Plenary 5

Port Fire, City of Vancouver and, Marine Safety/Environmental Response, Transport Canada


Daniel Stevens

Director of Emergency Management

City of Vancouver

Vancouver, British Columbia

Yvette Myers

Regional Director

(Pacific) Marine Safety & Security,

Transport Canada, Vancouver, British Columbia

In March of this year a four-alarm hazardous materials fire started in a container at the Centerm container terminal. At least 10 fire trucks responded and fire boats were also dispatched to fight the blaze. Impacts included transit disruptions and businesses close to the fire shut down their operations and sent their staff home. Many people in the area covered their mouths and noses as they fled while Vancouver Police directed people to shelter-in-place. Consequences of a hazardous materials incident in a large urban area are difficult to manage. Daniel Stevens will share some of the key lessons learned by many agencies, which will hopefully enhance future response, if, and when this type of event occurs again.


Transport Canada will then present an overview of the Canadian marine safety system, including information on its three pillars of prevention, preparedness and response, and liability and compensation. As well, the session will serve as an opportunity to provide interested stakeholders an update on the government’s current World-Class Tanker Safety System (WCTSS) measures which seek to further strengthen the existing system. This information will allow practitioners to become better aware of the institutional structures in place that help ensure marine safety.


Specifically, the presentation will focus on topics such as historical spills in Canada, existing public-private partnerships, and the interaction of the Canadian system with its international counterparts by way of conventions established by the International Maritime Organization. The domestic marine safety framework will be explained in detail, with a thorough breakdown of measures that fall under all three pillars of marine safety.


Many of the WCTSS measures fall under the pillar of preparedness and response; among them are improvements to scientific research and development, introduction of Alternative Response Measures, building marine safety capacity within communities, as well as the introduction of Area Response Planning, as recommended by the Tanker Safety Expert Panel in 2013. As well, WCTSS includes notable enhancements to Canada’s liability and compensation regime.


The presentation will serve as a useful medium to communicate with interested stakeholders and allow them to obtain a deeper understanding of Canada’s marine safety system today and the improvements in place to further enhance it in the years to come.


1000 - 1030 Junior Ballroom Foyer


Networking & Refreshment Break


1030 – 1200 Junior Ballroom


Plenary 6

Lac-Mégantic Railway Disaster – Response and Recovery


Marie-Claude Arguin

Deputy Director General,

City of Lac-Mégantic,

Lac-Mégantic, Québec

In July, 2013 Canada experienced its deadliest rail disaster since 1864. 47 people died, 30 building were destroyed and the psychological trauma and environmental impacts were staggering. The entire infrastructure was damaged. Mutual aid fire departments had to pump lake water to fight the multitude of fires resulting from the six million litres of light crude that spilled over, under and through the town. Recovery efforts are still on-going and this is a community that has shown incredible resilience in their efforts to rebuild and recover from such a devastating event. Marie-Claude Arguin will share this compelling story, walking us through response and recovery steps that will be of great interest to all conference attendees.


1200 – 1245 Junior Ballroom




1315 – 1345 Junior Ballroom


Plenary 7

Emergency Management BC Wrap-Up


Pat Quealey,

Assistant Deputy Minister

Emergency Management BC

Saanichton, British Columbia


The Assistant Deputy Minister will reflect on the emergency events and public safety activity that occurred over the past year, identifying some unique challenges and learning opportunities for the future.


1345 – 1400 Junior Ballroom


Conference Wrap-up & Draw for Exhibitor Prizes