News release

Emergency Management Exercise

Nova Scotia's emergency managers will participate in a simulated emergency from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. The scenario is designed to test emergency response plans and identify ways to strengthen emergency preparedness capabilities.

As part of Exercise Atlantic Tour, each provincial government in Atlantic Canada will test their skills in the same simulated emergency.

Exercise Atlantic Tour allows staff from emergency operations centres to practice interagency co-operation during an emergency. The exercises are a co-operative effort between the Emergency Measures Organizations in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP) -- the federal emergency management agency.

"Even though we've had more than our share of emergencies to manage recently, it's important to maintain our co-ordination and communications channels and skills," said Tim Olive, Minister responsible for the Emergency Measures Act. "Because our past emergency response efforts have been very successful, we know that conducting this type of training exercise will help to further ensure that all agencies are ready for major emergencies.

Nova Scotia's exercise will take place in the Joint Federal- Provincial Emergency Operations Centre in Dartmouth and in the Emergency Operations Centre for Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) in Sydney. The scenario will be a provincewide emergency, but CBRM is the only municipality that will directly participate.

The exercise is known as a table-top or command post exercise. This means that emergency response agencies such as police, fire and ambulance will not respond to the simulated scene. However, key management officials will receive information and will be required to make decisions based on the information and hypothetical situations that are presented to them. Details of the exercise scenario are being kept confidential to create a more realistic problem-solving environment.

Exercise Atlantic Tour was designed by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC Canada), with funding from OCIPEP. Officials from key government departments in all participating provinces and municipalities also contributed to the design.

Regular emergency services will not be disrupted during the exercise.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Nova Scotia will test its emergency response plans. Emergency managers will participate in a simulated emergency from September 30th to October 2nd to identify ways to strengthen emergency preparedness capabilities.

Tim Olive, Minister responsible for the Emergency Measures Act, says that because our past emergency response efforts have been very successful, we know that this type of training will help to further ensure that all agencies are ready for major emergencies.

The exercise will take place in the Joint Federal-Provincial Emergency Operations Centre in Dartmouth and in the Emergency Operations Centre for Cape Breton Regional Municipality in Sydney.

Regular emergency services will not be disrupted during the exercise.

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Contact:

Ellen Lawless
Emergency Measures Organization 902-424-0284 E-mail:
sac            September 27, 2002       1:01 P.M.