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General News · 4th May 2014
Chris Dragseth
Cortes Island was well represented with 7 team members attending the recent North Island Emergency Preparedness Workshop entitled:


The workshop was held at the Oyster Bay Resort 25-27 April, 2014.

The Cortes Island ESS Team wishes to thank the following local sponsors: Hollyhock, T’Ai Li Lodge, and Sowelu…by the Sea.

The following summarizes a very valuable weekend.

Chris Dragseth
ESS Director
Cortes Island Emergency Services


This year, the North Island Emergency Preparedness Workshop was held at the Oyster Bay Resort. The event was organized jointly by the Emergency Support Teams from Campbell River, Quadra Island, Cortes Island and ComoxValley with support from the Strathcona Regional District and EMBC. Over 100 people attended, representing communities from Port Hardy in the north to Victoria in the south. Catering for the weekend was provided by the Salvation Army Emergency Kitchen, with meals being served up in a large tent thus simulating conditions one would expect in an actual emergency.

To kick the event off, a trade show and BBQ was held Friday night at the Oyster Bay Resort. With salmon donated by Grieg’s Seafood / Walcan and a big bonfire to keep the chill off, a fantastic meal was served up by the Salvation Army. This offered a relaxed atmosphere for people to unwind after a day of travel as well as meeting up with friends and make some new contacts.

Saturday was a full day with presentations on: Responders, Receivers, Survivors - Preparing to Care (Carolyn Sinclair, Provincial Disaster Psychosocial Services Initiative); Search & Rescue in Australia 2013 (Marc D’Aquino, Holistic Emergency Preparedness & Response Ltd); and Lessons Learned from the 2013 Alberta Floods (Gary Carleton, Canadian Red Cross and Brian Webb, Shaw Cable). The day was rounded off with a buffet dinner which afforded time for delegates to mingle and continue to share ideas and experiences.

Sunday featured three breakout sessions for people to choose from: Integrating First Nations Culture with Modern Search Tactics (Marc D’Aquino, formerly of First Nations Emergency Services Society - FNESS); EMBC Deployable Radio Communications Kit (Neil Townsend/AJ Bryan, Emergency Management BC); and Public Safety Lifeline Volunteer Safety Policies (Wayne Hartley/Clare Fletcher – Emergency Management BC). The final event of the workshop was a demonstration by Oyster River Fire Department (motor vehicle accident) supported by BC Ambulance Service (emergency triage setup).

Feedback from those who attended this workshop has been very positive (“…an excellent workshop, very interesting presenters…”). Holding it during the same week that British Columbia experienced the shaking of a 6.6 magnitude earthquake made such an event even more relevant to all participants.


BC Hydro
Quadra Island Golf Course
Fortis BC
Sowelu…by the Sea
Insurance Centres Vancouver Island Taku Resort
Central Mountain Air Lighthouse Law
Grieg Seafood
T’Ai Li Lodge
Walcan Seafood Ltd, Herriot Bay Heriot Bay Inn
Discovery Islands Emergency Preparedness Association (DIEPA)
Quadra Island Emergency Program
Strathcona Regional District Hollyhock
City of Campbell River
Vancouver Island Emergency Preparedness Association (VIEPA)
Strategic Natural Resources Consultants
Cape Mudge Band First Nation