By J.W. Schnarr
For the Sunny South News
The recent dynamite incident in downtown Coaldale and a number of future events planned for the town were presented to council by the town’s new director of Emergency Management, as he formally took control of the position during a council meeting in September.
Mark Murphy has taken over from Coun. Sherrie Duda, as the town’s DEM, and one of his first orders of business regarding council was to update them on emergency activities to date and also to look ahead at what is planned in the coming months.
Coaldale and District Emergency Services responded to 47 Town Calls; 67 County Calls; 145 Medical Assists; and 151 Inspections.
Regarding public safety, 86 violation tickets were written; 186 Field Interviews were performed; and 177 Case Reports were started.
Regarding emergency management, an After Action Review was conducted regarding the dynamite incident downtown.
“The reason we did that is because that is part of the gold standard of emergency management,” Murphy said.
“Having after-action reviews when you have a bigger event than a normal fire event or motor vehicle collision. Obviously, this made some high-level news throughout the country and the province. So, we did the review to see how we handled the event and to see if there are any changes we can make in the future.”
In addition, Murphy brought council up to speed on a number of events planned through the rest of the year. These plans included ongoing “specifications” of a new county and town fire truck; Fire Prevention Week activities from Oct. 9 to 15, including a Fire Hall Open House and barbecue on Oct. 12; and the CDES Christmas Banquet on Nov. 26. Long-service medals are also going to be handed out during that evening.
“They do a great job, and it’s a lot of work,” said Murphy.
“I think they are very deserving of these service medals.”
Currently, CDES is in collaboration with Planning and Development to create a draft Community Standards By-Law. The first draft is expected by the end of September.
“This is going to be a bylaw that will bring various other bylaws together,” said Murphy.
“It can be everything from weeds, to noise, to a lot of different aspects of community standards.”
Another bylaw currently in the works is the Traffic Control By-Law. The bylaw is expected to be presented to council by the end of September.
“Once we have the meat of these two bylaws, we’re going to be meeting with other town departments to see what effects some of these bylaws might have on some of their operations,” Murphy said.
“And then we are going to do public engagement to hear what the citizens of the town wants or feel need to be included in the community standards bylaw.”
He added open houses were likely to be forthcoming for those engagement sessions.
“We’re hoping to have the Community Standards Bylaw completed by Jan. 1,” Murphy said.
Finally, an RV trailer blitz is scheduled for October.
Murphy said trailers have to be removed by Oct. 10, and crews will start with a public awareness campaign using social media to remind citizens to remove their trailers.
“On the 10th of October is the day they are supposed to move those trailers,” he said.
“On Oct. 11, Community Peace Officers will start a door knocking campaign to the registered owners. On Oct. 12, there will be a day of grace, and on Oct. 13, the CPOs will go out and start ticketing and towing those trailers.”