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General News · 21st April 2016
Chris Dragseth, ESS Director
For those of you in the Mansons Landing area who were wondering what all the action was on Tuesday night (April 19), it was just your local Cortes Island Emergency Services conducting a joint simulation. The Cortes Island Fire Department, British Columbia Ambulance Service (BCAS), Cortes Island Radio Club & Learning Enterprise (CIRCLE), and the Cortes Island Emergency Support Services (ESS) came together to coordinate their efforts in this exercise.

The simulation scenario revolved around an interface fire in the Whaletown area. This area was theoretically evacuated. We want to thank the Senior’s Village for their participation by allowing their homes to be “taped off”, but also for their willingness to participate as evacuees.

A Reception Centre was set up at Cortes School by your ESS Team to register the evacuees and document and address their needs.

In the adjacent helipad field, the Cortes Island Fire Department conducted exercises that simulated fighting the interface fire. Throughout the evening the BCAS attended to injured firefighters and evacuees, and even an ESS volunteer – all simulations of course.

The coordination and integration of the joint response was greatly enhanced by the participation of CIRCLE. They documented some of the radio coverage on the Island as well as provided ancillary radio equipment that strengthened the communications between all of the first responders.

Our simulation was a great success, with many lessons learned. Hopefully we won’t need to respond to a real event such as our scenario. However, Tuesday’s exercise was a valuable learning experience as we continue to strengthen our coordinated efforts in support of Cortes Island.

Chris Dragseth, ESS

Mac Diver, Cortes Island Fire Department

Paul Brewer, BC Ambulance Service

Amanda & Barry Glickman
Cortes Island Radio Club and Learning Enterprise
Fire Department setting up for response to wildfire.
Fire Department setting up for response to wildfire.
Ambulance ready for action
Ambulance ready for action
Emergency Support Services assisting evacuees.
Emergency Support Services assisting evacuees.
CIRCLE setting up radio communications.
CIRCLE setting up radio communications.
Thank You All
Comment by Barry Glickman on 21st April 2016
It was Amanda and my first simulation exercise on Cortes and I do not mind telling you all that I was nervous. We are somewhat naive in the emergency services area, but sufficiently experienced to know that much can go wrong, especially when coordinating independent groups. It was amazing however just how smoothly it all went, including some fine acting by volunteer seniors. There is always much to be learned and as we gain experience the exercises can become larger and more complicated. But I am now confident that the Cortes teams can do it. I personally want to thank Chris from ESS and Mac from the fire department for their leadership and patience.