In a real emergency situation, first responders have absolutely no time to waste. To prepare and train for potential disasters, the Emergency Measures Organization held disaster simulations that replicated possible accidents or events. Through the simulations, emergency responders gained insight to predict the behaviours of those involved (on their own staff and working with other local safety organizations), and the effectiveness of systems and technologies. Adjustments could then be made to procedures, in order to save more lives in the event of future disasters.

Who Ran These Simulations?

The Emergency Measures Organization Planning Group, which approved and outlined disaster simulations, was comprised of City departments such as Police, Fire, Parks and Recreation, and members of neighbouring communities, such Oliver Township.

During each particular simulation, roles would be assigned to City departments and specific personnel (such as the City Engineer, for example). The co-ordinators of the simulation would wrap the event up by submitting a timeline and report that would be used to study and learn from what went on. Minutes recorded at planning group meetings suggest that these reports provided a successful, useful exchange of information which overall contributed to the efficient handling of real-life emergency situations.

Simulated Airplane Crash, 1982

The simulated airplane crash at Thunder Bay Airport on September 19, 1982 proved to be beneficial to both the Emergency Measures Organization and its partner in the simulation, Transport Canada, as both parties discovered potential problems in their response procedures.

Emergency personnel discovered problems with communicating between different types of radio systems -- getting in touch with persons in authority turned out to be a complicated and time-consuming task. There were also misunderstandings over which agencies would be responsible for which tasks. Despite these shortcomings, though, the exercise was deemed a success and a credible performance of emergency response forces.

Simulated Airplane Crash Report

A round seal that is faded

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