News release

International Emergency Managers Participate in Major Disaster Exercise

A disaster response exercise today, June 11, in Halifax has senior emergency managers from Eastern Canada and the United States dealing with a hypothetical catastrophe.

The Emergency Management Office is hosting the bi-annual conference of the International Emergency Management Group. The conference brings together emergency management officials from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York.

The task of the emergency managers will be to sort out how to share resources to respond to the disaster. They will be testing the operations manual created using the International Emergency Management Assistance Memorandum of Understanding.

The memorandum is considered a world-leading agreement in international disaster-relief co-operation. It guides how the member provinces and states will assist one another in disasters.

"The goal of an exercise like this is to find any areas of the operations manual that need to be strengthened," said Craig MacLaughlan, CEO and deputy head of EMO. "These are complex agreements involving border issues and security."

This will be the first comprehensive test of the operations manual, which was completed in 2007.

In the exercise, Nova Scotia will seek hypothetical assistance from its partners such as urban search and rescue teams, doctors, nurses, medical staff, paramedics, ambulances, medical examiners, structural engineers, blood products and a range of equipment.

Although the exercise is closed to media, interviews can be arranged with Mr. MacLaughlan and Dennis Kelly, EMO's director of training and strategic services.

Emergency Management Minister Carolyn Bolivar-Getson will speak at the convention banquet, at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic at 7:30 p.m. The speech is open to media.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

A disaster response exercise today (June 11th) in Halifax has senior emergency managers from Eastern Canada and the United States dealing with a hypothetical catastrophe.

The Emergency Management Office is hosting the bi-annual conference of the International Emergency Management Group.

The task of the emergency managers will be to sort out how to share resources to respond to the imaginary disaster.

In the exercise, Nova Scotia will seek hypothetical assistance from its partners such as urban search and rescue teams, doctors, nurses, medical staff, paramedics, ambulances, medical examiners, structural engineers, blood products and a range of equipment.

-30-

Media Contact:

David Rodenhiser
Emergency Management Office 902-424-0284 Cell: 902-220-7956 E-mail: