Emergency simulation at Evergreen stations

Saturday expect to see police, fire and transit security around Inlet and Moody stations as TransLink prepares for Dec. 2 opening of the Evergreen Extension

Don't be alarmed if you see smoke and emergency vehicles along the Evergreen extension.

Starting Saturday, a series of emergency preparedness training sessions will be conducted at the Port Moody stations as well as the tunnel portals in PoMo and Coquitlam.

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With thousands of people expected to use the new rapid transit system after it opens on Dec. 2, emergency responders will be practising evacuation and rescue exercises with emergency vehicles and equipment, and there may be smoke, fire alarms, noise from ventilation fans and bus shuttles.

Some road closures around the stations will be required but the training won't affect regular SkyTrain service.

Participants may include BC Rapid Transit Company, Coast Mountain Bus Company, Transit Police, Coquitlam Fire Rescue, Port Moody Fire Rescue, BC Emergency Health Services and Port Moody Police.

The dates for the emergency training simulations along the Evergreen Extension are Nov. 12, 19 and 26 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., and the operations will take place at Inlet Centre and Moody Centre stations and both the north and south portions of the tunnel.

Ongoing emergency training is necessary to operating a transit system and to ensure that  responses meet the highest standards of public safety, said Cheryl Ziola, a TransLink spokesperson.

The chance of a major emergency taking place in the Evergreen tunnel is extremely unlikely, officials say, calling such happenings a once-in-100 year event, but according to Tri-City News files, local fire departments have been working on developing emergency response procedures for months.

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