Kitimat fire department learns from 7.7 quake

The Kitimat Fire Department and the Kitimat Emergency Program are in general happy with the way the Oct. 27 event was handled.

The Kitimat Fire Department and the Kitimat Emergency Program are in general happy with the way the Oct. 27 earthquake and tsunami warning was handled, but communication with the public will definitely be a priority as they learn from the event.

Fire Chief Trent Bossence said that an Emergency Operations Centre was immediately established at the fire hall, together with emergency coordinator Bob McLeod, as well as representatives from local industries such as Bechtel and Rio Tinto Alcan.

Phone lines were down for the fire department for approximately half an hour after the earthquake but cell phones still worked allowing the members to be in touch with each other.

Bossence said that, as with many others in the province, information was slow coming from Emergency Management BC, but that they don’t rely entirely on that group to give them information, turning as well to other main sources such as the West Coast And Alaska Tsunami Centre.

“There’s multiple sources we can get information from,” he said.

From information updates through their various channels they were confident that Kitimat had a low-risk of damage, save for areas below tide lines, namely marinas, so people at MK Bay Marina, for instance, were advised to get off their boats.

A lot of information we being shared among emergency responders in various communities. Bossence said he was quickly calling Prince Rupert’s fire chief for information.

Of course all their work didn’t do much to stem the tide of misinformation being transmitted through social media.

“There was a lot of information and misinformation being sent out on social media. It’s unfortunate but it’s also a reality,” said Bossence.

Communication is one of the largest takeaways from the event, and how to recognize the impact of social media.

“I totally understand the frustration of our community and not knowing what’s going on,” he said.

As for the possibility of evacuations, Bossence said the tried-and-true way is to just knock on doors, and driving down streets with megaphones alerting people to the danger.

While social media can be a way to spread information, he said in an evacuation setting it would be challenging as it would take away control.

As for some of the takeaways from this, he said earthquake risks are proven real and it’s important to keep yourself ready.

Just Posted

PHOTO GALLERY: Malicous Monster Truck Tour

The Malicious Monster Truck Tour sold out to crowds of 2,500 people… Continue reading

North Coast fishing grounds key to orca recovery: DFO

Plan marks waters from Langara to Rose Spit as critical habitat for northern resident killer whales

Chris Green, mother of scouts, passes away

Green, who was born near Kitimat, spent more than 60 years volunteering with Scouts Canada

Intertidal Music Festival back for round two

More than 20 performances throughout the day at the North Pacific Cannery on July 21

Alberta man missing on Kitimat River found dead

Body found on July 11 after going missing on July 7

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

BC Games marks 40 years in 2018

Cowichan Games a milestone for BC Games Society

VIDEO: Life’s a beach at this B.C. sand sculpting contest

More than $50,000 was up for grabs at the annual contest held in Parksville

Most Read