Hands-On Training with Katzie First Nation: Enhancing Emergency Response Preparedness

Jul 11, 2024

group photo in a school gym for emergency response training

‘On Friday, May 24, 2024, a group of 15 participants from Katzie First Nation, including Chief Warren Tracy from Pitt Meadows Fire Department, gathered for a day of immersive emergency response training. Hosted on their traditional territory, the training session delved deep into emergency management practices, focusing on a scenario-based approach to wildfire response on Barnston Island.

Hands-on Learning Experience

The day commenced with a comprehensive presentation on the workings of an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), setting the stage for what would be a dynamic and educational experience. Participants gained insights into the coordination efforts required during emergencies, emphasizing the collaboration between various agencies and stakeholders.

As the training progressed, the group transitioned into a real-life scenario simulation involving a wildfire outbreak. This exercise mirrored a high-stress situation, where swift decision-making and effective communication were paramount. Participants experienced the initial response phase, where agencies swiftly mobilized resources to contain the blaze and protect the community and traditional lands. Throughout the scenario, media inquiries were handled adeptly by the information officer, who drafted and disseminated multiple press releases to keep the public informed.

Fostering Community

The training was not only educational but also fostered a sense of community and partnership. Katzie First Nation graciously provided a delicious lunch, allowing participants to network and reflect on the morning’s activities. Terrence Pierre from the First Nations’ Emergency Services Society (FNESS) contributed significantly to the day’s success, offering valuable insights and guidance during the scenario.

As the day came to a close, participants gathered to debrief and discuss key takeaways. Questions were answered, new knowledge was shared, and the experience solidified the importance of collaborative emergency management and community leadership in protecting lives and property.

Paving A Path To Resiliency

Overall, the training session with Katzie First Nation was a resounding success, highlighting the effectiveness of hands-on learning in preparing for real-world emergencies. The event not only strengthened operational readiness but also deepened mutual respect and understanding among all involved, paving the way for more resilient and coordinated emergency responses in the future.