Bruce County council signs new agreement with Red Cross

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BRUCE COUNTY – Christine MacDonald, director of human services, made a brief presentation in December on a new emergency response agreement with the Canadian Red Cross.

The county has had an agreement with the Red Cross since October 2014. The most recent three-year agreement was set to expire at the end of December.

MacDonald said staff have been negotiating with the Red Cross on a revised two-year agreement that will expire Dec. 31, 2022. At that time, the Red Cross anticipates modifications to their service approach due to lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the reason a two-year agreement was recommended instead of one lasting three years.

The revised agreement establishes parameters that would have the Red Cross provide emergency services that may include registration, reception and information, family reunification, emergency lodging, emergency food services, emergency clothing, transportation and personal services. In addition, the Red Cross responsibilities in preparing for an emergency include recruiting and training volunteers to deliver local emergency services; stocking and maintaining supplies and logistics capacity; and participating in county-led emergency preparedness exercises, activities, and/or meetings.

The annual cost of the agreement is $10,000. It is included in the 2021 budget.

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times