Emergency responders from Barriere and area take part in a regional seasonal hazard preparedness workshop put on by Emergency Management BC in Kamloops on March 12. Pictured are (l-r) Derek Ive – Fire and Rescue, Ashley Wohlgemuth – Fire and Rescue chief, Todd English – Search and Rescue, Wanda Nystoruk – Emergency Support Services, and Azriel Kowick – First Responder. (Submitted photo)

Emergency responders from Barriere and area take part in a regional seasonal hazard preparedness workshop put on by Emergency Management BC in Kamloops on March 12. Pictured are (l-r) Derek Ive – Fire and Rescue, Ashley Wohlgemuth – Fire and Rescue chief, Todd English – Search and Rescue, Wanda Nystoruk – Emergency Support Services, and Azriel Kowick – First Responder. (Submitted photo)

Local volunteers prepare for emergencies

By Keith McNeill

Barriere and area emergency volunteers were well represented at a regional seasonal hazard preparedness workshop hosted by Emergency Management BC (EMBC) in Kamloops on Thursday, March 12.

“We cover new updates, review events and procedures,” explained Wanda Nystoruk of Barriere Emergency Support Services. “We had presenters share info on what they offer. We learned about predictions regarding spring freshet and floods, fire season, and weather, and discuss how prepared we are.”

EMBC hosts a seasonal hazard preparedness workshop every fall and spring with Ministry of Transport, Emergency Support Services (ESS), BC Wildfire Services, Barriere Search and Rescue, Barriere Fire Rescue, First Responders, Canadian Armed Forces, First Nations Authority, Interior Health Authority, River Forecast Centre, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRORD), Disaster Psychological Service (DPS), Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) plus other officials and groups.

Nystoruk noted that the North Thompson watershed is at 123 per cent snowpack while the provincial average is 111 per cent.

“We are rated as high risk flood,” she said, “however much can affect that, such as weather, time and other factors.”

There was some discussion during the workshop on COVID 19 and procedures to deal with it.

The best way to get accurate and up to date information about the disease is to go online to sites such as the BC Center for Disease Control or BC government pandemic response.

“We are considered low risk now,” said the ESS volunteer. “Let’s keep it that way. Wash your hands, avoid touching your face and avoid large public gatherings. Isolate yourself if there are signs of illness. If you feel you need medical attention, dial 811 for instructions and procedure to access help.”

Emergency Preparedness