On Wednesday, October 1, 2014, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., the Whistler Sliding Centre will be the scene of a large mock exercise to confirm and test the hazardous materials emergency response plans of several local agencies.
Participants will include the Whistler Sliding Centre, Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW), Whistler Fire Rescue Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, British Columbia Ambulance Service, Whistler Blackcomb, and Canadian Wilderness Adventures. This “boots on the ground” exercise will simulate an ammonia release on the track at the Whistler Sliding Centre.
The scenario will allow the Whistler Sliding Centre and local first response agencies to:
- test notification and communication procedures between agencies
- activate a unified command structure
- implement protective measures for residents and businesses in the area, who would be at risk if this was a real emergency; and
- test decontamination procedures for anyone, who would be exposed in a real event.
The Whistler Sliding Centre ammonia plant and storage systems were completed in 2007 to strict safety standards with mitigation processes and redundancies in place. A large ammonia release like the one being simulated in this exercise is considered to be a rare, worst-case scenario event.
Having local first response agencies and people in the area know what to do if an incident were to occur is important, and assembling these agencies to practice a scenario will make everyone better prepared to respond to a potential hazardous materials incident in the RMOW.
No hazardous materials will be used during the exercise.
Residents and businesses in the vicinity of Glacier Drive and Glacier Lane will observe an increased number of emergency vehicles in the area and may receive a knock on the door from a uniformed first responder providing educational materials.
About the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s Emergency Program
The RMOW’s Emergency Program is responsible for working with local first response agencies, Emergency Management British Columbia, and other community organizations to develop and implement plans and programs to protect the resort community during large-scale emergencies. Emergency exercises, like the exercise scheduled for October 1 at the Whistler Sliding Centre, are a great way to prepare the community for major emergencies. Learn more at whistler.ca/emergencyprogram.
About the Resort Municipality of Whistler
The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is Whistler’s local government led by an elected council and administered by an executive team and staff on behalf of 9,824 residents and two million annual visitors. The RMOW manages municipal planning and development, park and Village operations, sports facilities and recreation, public utilities and environmental services, bylaws and enforcement, fire rescue, fiscal planning and financial services, legislative services, human resources, communications and the administration of the Whistler2020 Comprehensive Sustainability Plan and Whistler’s Official Community Plan. The RMOW collaborates with in-resort and external partners to create visitor experiences and enrich community life.
Whistler’s vision is to be the premier mountain resort community as it moves toward sustainability. Whistler was the proud Host Mountain Resort for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
About the Whistler Sliding Centre
The Whistler Sliding Centre (WSC) is operated by Whistler Sport Legacies, a non-profit organization funded by the Games Operating Trust and responsible for Whistler Olympic Park, the Whistler Sliding Centre, and the Whistler Athletes’ Centre. The WSC was the site of the bobsleigh, skeleton, and luge competitions for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, and now operates as a training and competition venue for future Olympians, and offers public bobsleigh rides and skeleton slides. For more information, visit whistlerslidingcentre.com.