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Port Moody’s emergency response gets a boost

Money is part of British Columbia's $69.5 million community emergency preparedness fund
emergency operations
Port Moody's emergency operations centre during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the midst of a provincial state of emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Port Moody is getting a boost so it can be better prepared for an emergency.

The city has received $50,000 in emergency preparedness funding, part of the provincial government’s nearly $69.5-million community emergency preparedness fund (CEPF) that provides short-term, essential supports to communities impacted by disasters.

Kirk Heaven, Port Moody’s deputy fire chief, community safety, training and emergency management, said half the money was used to upgrade and improve its emergency operations centre with audio-visual, communication and computer equipment as well as acquire supplies like portable battery chargers and dehydrated food along with training for staff in things like rapid damage assessment.

The remaining funds are helping the city increase the capacity of its emergency operations centre with even more equipment, supplies like vests for staff, and enhanced training.

Port Moody’s emergency operations centre has been the hub of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic since mid_March.

Mike Farnworth, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, said the money will help give more than 100 local governments and First Nations communities the tools “to make sure everyone in B.C. impacted by an emergency is looked after and kept as safe as possible.”

Those tools include support services, structural flood mitigation, training and equipment, as well as planning for evacuation routes, for volunteer and composite fire departments.