Mt A, town, RCMP, fire & rescue, ANB, and NB-EMO partner for May 29 event
Pictured above are the planned street closures during the upcoming EMO exercise.
SACKVILLE, N.B. – Sackville’s emergency response will be tested during a simulation exercise next week.
Local emergency responders, such as Sackville RMCP, the fire & rescue department, Ambulance New Brunswick and EMO personnel, will partner with the town and Mount Allison University in the exercise, which is being planned for Thursday, May 29, and will involve a mock fire and shooting on the Mount A campus.
“It’s kind of an all-around training exercise,” said Sackville Fire Chief Craig Bowser.
Bowser said aim of the event is to assist all parties in their emergency planning, communications and response.
“The purpose of the exercise is to measure and analyze the respective organizations emergency response plans, the interoperability between agencies, the exchange of information and the ability to coordinate a fluid response to an incident involving an active threat event at Mount Allison University,” he said.
The exercise will take place on campus at the northside quad area, near Campbell Hall and Jennings Dining Hall, beginning at 7 p.m. and will last approximately two hours. However, the street closures in that area of town will run from 5:30 to 10 p.m. (see map).
“It’s a very big undertaking,” said Cpl. Patricia Levesque of the Sackville RCMP.
Police want to ensure residents, students, and university staff are well aware of the upcoming exercise, as there will be plenty of activity happening throughout the evening simulation. From smoke to fire alarms, from sirens wailing to gunshots being fired, and even a helicopter flying overhead, the event will feature a number of sights and sounds out of the ordinary.
Levesque said all the parties are trying to spread the word as much as possible so as not to create any panic.
“We want to ensure those in the affected area are aware of what’s happening,” she said.
As well, there will also be several road closures, with a detour set up so traffic can still get around the zone, and a number of buildings on campus will be locked down, including the northside quad residences, Jennings Hall and the Avard-Dixon building.
The training exercise will be a great test for all parties – to practice lockdown procedures, fire suppression, search and rescue, crime scene management, setting up an emergency command post, and testing out alert systems.
“The planned emergency response exercise is an important one for all organizations involved and the community as a whole,” says Jamie Burke, senior manager of corporate projects for the town. “This will allow all groups to review how we work together and build on and improve our current policies and procedures around emergency response and communications.”
David Stewart, Mount A’s vice-president of administration, said the university is pleased to be working with the town and the various emergency response teams on this collaborative event.
“The exercise will allow us to run through our current emergency response plans, see how they roll out with our partners at the town and emergency response teams and identify ways to improve,” he said.
“You hope you never have a situation like this on campus or in Sackville, but we need to be prepared and exercises like this can only help in our planning and communication.”