Monday, May 3, 2010

Elementary students and emergency assistance organizations to kick off Emergency Preparedness Week

About 1,000 students and staff from Calgary’s two school organizations will kick-off Emergency Preparedness Week at 10 a.m. today.

Students from adjacent elementary schools Saint Maria Goretti and Hawkwood will host the kick-off event with emergency responders from the Calgary Fire Department and Calgary Police Service as well as with representatives of municipal and provincial agencies involved in responding to disasters.

“We want Calgarians to know that we are ready to deal with a disaster, but also that every citizen has a role to plan in emergency preparedness,” says Greg Solecki, Acting Director of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency. “By educating students, we lay the foundation for future emergency preparedness.”

The emergency preparedness message will be carried by all city students and staff in the public and separate school systems with 160,000 copies of the Household Emergency Action Plan booklet being distributed.

The Calgary Catholic School District's Chair said the partnership that exists between the City’s emergency response organizations and the school districts allows for essential emergency preparedness information to be disseminated.

“Students are empowered to educate their families about emergency situations, making all Calgarians safer,” said Marge Belcourt.

New elementary-school curriculum focusing upon emergency preparedness will also be implemented.

Lynn Ferguson, Calgary Board of Education Vice-Chair said last year's H1N1 flu outbreak was a great education.

“By participating in Emergency Preparedness Week we are reminding students that they are crucial contributors to the wellness and preparedness of Calgarians,” said Fergusson.

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