Public gets better acquainted with emergency prep

What to do, who to call, in an emergency?

About 300 residents took the opportunity to find out at an Emergency Preparedness Showcase Saturday at the Downtown Plaza.

It’s a wind-up event on the final day for Canada’s annual Emergency Preparedness Week, which ran May 5-11 this year.

“We’re doing a showcase with all of the local first responders and agencies that respond to emergencies in the event of flooding or natural disasters.” says Aaron Gravelle, Sault Fire Services Public Education Officer. 

“Everyone is showcasing all the equipment that they have and giving out handouts and letting people see some of the vehicles and trucks that they don’t always get to see.”

The D’Addetta family enjoying a pleasant Saturday at the Emergency Preparedness Showcase. Mom Jordan and father Frank with daughters, from left, Elllie, 6 and three-year-old Abby.

The Ontario Provincial Police, Canadian Red Cross, Sault Ste. Marie Police Services, Sault Search and Rescue and Sault Ste. Marie Paramedic Services were among the organizations who co-hosted the event.

More than 100 of the attendees were children. The kids were encouraged to visit each of the booths where they received a sticker. A full ballot of stickers qualified them to win prizes.

“This is a great opportunity, especially for younger people. They’re seeing, hands-on, talking to the people that are going to respond if they’re in trouble, and that’s so important,” says Randall Roy, First Vice-President with Sault Search and Rescue.

“They know the people and they’re not going to be afraid of them,” added Roy. “They understand what we’re doing and why we’re here. It’s so interesting for the young people to see what’s here. In a major emergency, everybody that is here now, will be there.”

Jamie Minelli, who along with her husband Justin brought their two children to the plaza event, says Saturday was a chance to show her kids some of the emergency vehicles and equipment. Minelli’s family has a lot of family and friends that are first responders.

“We knew that we were going to see some of them down here, and have a chance to show the kids some of the trucks and different services. See some friendly faces and feel comfortable with first responders, which is really cool.”

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