The importance of emergency management has never been more evident. In Canada alone, fires burn an average of over 2.1 million hectares per year. Roughly four million Canadians now live in flood-affected areas and unique weather events like the May 2022 derecho that spanned Ontario and Quebec impacted roughly 41 per cent of Canada’s population. The Calian emergency management team works with communities and organizations to enable prevention, preparation, response and recovery from major emergencies. The team uses a thorough understanding of best practices and adapts to the individualized needs of each community served.

In 2022, Calian worked with the town of Oliver, BC to streamline the use of their airport during emergencies. During wildfires, the Oliver Municipal Airport is used by the BC Wildfire Service as a staging area or base camp. Oliver was seeking to develop a formal action plan to effectively utilize the airport during emergencies while minimizing disruptions to normal service.  

The Calian EM team, led by Shari St. John, collaborated with the town of Oliver to develop a detailed concept of operations document, detailing what will happen before and during an emergency event. The concept of operations included a layout of airport procedures, standards, resources and best practices for use during normal and emergency situations.  

Calian delivered the final concept of operations in July 2022, which is now in use by the Oliver airport in collaboration with the BC Wildfire Service. In early August, the airport was used as a base of operations for over 400 wildfire personnel as they battled the Keremeos Creek wildfire. The team received a personal letter of thanks from the Mayor of Oliver Martin Johansen acknowledging the successful result. Says Mayor Johansen, “emergency preparedness is key in ensuring our community and province are positioned to manage events as they transform.” 

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