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West Kelowna signs on to grant request to make evacuations smoother

Grant funding to aid EOC

The City of West Kelowna is joining other governments in the region in seeking grant funding to support their Emergency Operations Centre.

Council Tuesday unanimously endorsed the application brought forward by Fire Chief Jason Brolund.

“By working together,” Brolund says, “we will be eligible for $172,000 in grant funding.

“This funding will go to the EOC, but the program designed by the fire chiefs and emergency manager in the region is to design a system and hardware to allow us to better send mapping information back and forth between the field and the EOC.”

At the present time, Brolund says during a neighbourhood evacuation, crews would make a sketch on a piece of paper or iPad, take a picture and email it to the EOC.

The new system would be designed to make the process more integrated by automatically sending those images back and forth between the EOC and the field.

Brolund says real-time field training will be done once the system is built, however a date and time has not yet been determined.

He did say the EOC will do group training in the coming weeks while Emergency Support Services are scheduled to conduct a full day of exercises around some new systems and changes that have been put in place.

That exercise will be held in West Kelowna June 1.

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