Hinton’s Emergency Operating Centre (EOC) was partially activated on June 30 to deal with several ongoing emergency calls.
The EOC allowed the Town to manage three concurrent calls in an effective and efficient manner, read a statement from the Town.
The first call came when the air conditioning unit at the Continuing Care facility failed. At the time, Hinton was dealing with a severe heat wave and several patients had to be relocated to a cooler environment.
Staff on duty required assistance from the Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to move patients and set up temporary sleeping accommodations on the first floor where the air conditioning was still working.
The second call was a medical emergency in Town. No further information was released on the second call.
A fire at the landfill was the third call, which was contained to the landfill to prevent it from spreading into the tree line.
“We called for mutual aid and were provided assistance from Yellowhead County as well as other Town Departments as we were utilizing considerable water in the middle of a water restriction,” stated Hinton’s fire chief, Mac de Beaudrap.
The water restriction put in place the last week of June due to the extreme heatwave has since been lifted. The Town stated that the storage capacity is now at over 90 per cent in all reservoirs.
The Rotary Spray Park will also return to its normal hours of operation from 9 am to 8 pm.
Each individual emergency would not normally warrant bringing up the EOC, but extra help was necessary when the Fire Department was getting inundated making phone calls to obtain resources and split the crews to deal with each of the incidents at once. A statement explained that activating or partially activating the EOC does not usually mean the press is notified immediately.
de Beaudrap noted that the emergencies were all handled very professionally.
“Even though our staff worked hard until 3:45 am we were still able to participate in the Canada Day Parade the next day,” he said.
Masha Scheele, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hinton Voice