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City sets up permanent Emergency Reception Centre location for 2024

The emergency programs department at the City of Prince George is preparing the Emergency Support Services (ESS) Reception Centre in anticipation of the upcoming summer season. Thanks to provincial funding, four trailers have been leased and delivered to the back of the Kin Centre, where they will serve as the cornerstone of the city’s summer emergency response efforts.

Comprising of three large trailers and a dedicated washroom facility, this setup ensures that the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) will have a permanent and well-equipped reception centre for the months ahead.

The timing of the set up worked well with the ESS activated over the weekend to support evacuees from Fort Nelson.

In 2023 the City’s EOC was activated on May 5 and continued to provide host community services until October 3 (139 days). Within that period the ESS Reception Centre was moved eight times to accommodate other municipal activities.

Tanya Spooner, manager of Emergency Programs at the City of Prince George, says the addition of the trailers will act as a pilot to showcase the need for a permanent ESS reception center.

“While our ultimate goal remains a more permanent solution, we are encouraged by this significant step forward. Prince George is the first region in British Columbia to receive a dedicated site of this nature. This setup will alleviate stress on our team and ensure faster response times when we need to activate and support evacuees,” Spooner said.

The trailers were delivered over the last two weeks, and the civic operations department assisted with the service connections for the trailers.

One of the trailers will act as a Cultural Activity Location (CALS) support for First Nations people to have a safe space where evacuees can gather and access cultural care services. There will also be space to set up a Remote Mutual Aid (RMA) call centre if needed which allows registrations to be done through Prince George to support evacuees across the province. This was done last year to support evacuees from Kelowna and Kamloops.

Telus has donated cellular smart hubs that will provide reliable internet services to the ESS trailers at no cost to the City for the duration of the summer emergency response season.

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