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Cities to sign on to county emergency plan

Andrew Philips

By Andrew Philips, Special to Postmedia Network

Orillia and Barrie should soon be formally part of the county’s emergency response team.

“Emergency social services is an ongoing need in our community,” said Cathy Clark, the county’s manager of 911 and emergency services.

“We have had a number of instances recently, including a retirement home fire, two tornadoes and flooding.”

The county has had an emergency social services team in place since 2006 with most area municipalities officially signing on to the plan in 2009.

“Barrie and Orillia, historically, have been managing that on their own,” Clark said.

But now, the two municipalities will join other county partners in a formal arrangement.

“We wanted to formalize that agreement with them,” she said. “There isn’t a cost to have the agreement in place. I believed they (Barrie and Orillia councils) have approved it in principle.”

But once both cities follow the county council’s lead earlier this week in officially ratifying the agreement, they will have ready access to the county’s round-the-clock emergency social services team.

“We have a team that’s completely ready to go 24/7,” she said. “Our team is always ready to be activated.”

She said the county’s team works closely with other organizations such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army and St. John Ambulance that provide emergency help to those in need.

Under the plan, both cities would still be responsible for “consumables” such as food provided by the aforementioned groups like the Salvation Army, personal hygiene products and transportation costs should its residents need to be moved to another outlying municipality. 

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