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Emergency training exercise simulates gas plant leak in Taylor

An emergency response training exercise took place today at Pembina's Younger Extraction Plant.
ess-reception
Shelley Gass volunteered her time as Reception Centre Manager for the District of Taylor’s Emergency Evacuation Centre, during an emergency response training exercise with Pembina Pipeline at the Younger Extraction Plant, Sept. 27, 2021.

Pembina Pipeline and the District of Taylor held a joint emergency training exercise on Monday, simulating how they would respond to a gas leak at the Younger Extraction Plant.

The training exercise is initiated by Pembina every three years to meet industry standards, said Deputy Fire Chief and Protective Services Specialist Kevin Holder.

“They have to do a full-scale exercise. For them, this is a lot less people because their main EOC is actually in Calgary, but their incident command post is here,” said Holder. “If it was a real incident, it would have involved evacuating Taylor.”

As part of the exercise, Taylor's emergency siren system was tested, and the district’s emergency operation centre and emergency support services set up in the town’s community hall. Holder said the goal was to see how fast they could set up their emergency operations.

“We went one step further with setting up the ESS reception centre,” said Holder. "Now, in a real incident that reception centre would not have been set up in our community."

Emergency support service teams now have an online registration component, said Holder, noting residents are now registered with the province during emergencies.

During a real emergency event, Holder said all residents should follow directions from emergency professionals, but also be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice if necessary.

“We never know if we have 10 minutes or sometimes, if it’s a flood, we know we have a few hours, or sometimes days. Those are a lot easier," he said. "It’s these quick ones where the importance is."

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Tom Summer, Alaska Highway News, Local Journalism Initiative. Email Tom at tsummer@ahnfsj.ca