Media Release April 15, 2020 | 3:00 p.m.
Update #11: COVID-19 Pandemic
Longest GPREP Activation in Organization’s History, State of Local Emergency Renewed
Today marks 34 days since GPREP was activated and a coordinated, regional response to the COVID-19 pandemic began.
This is the longest activation in GPREP’s history. The previous record-holder was a 33-day activation in response to the 2019 Chuckegg Creek Wildfires, where the community received over 1000 evacuees from Northwestern Alberta.
GPREP was officially formed in 2013 and receives its powers through a section of the Alberta Emergency Management Act, a Ministerial Order from Municipal Affairs, signed agreements between the partner municipalities, and each of the municipalities passing a similar emergency management bylaw. To date, the majority of GPREP’s activations have been in response to natural disasters such as fires and flooding.
The partnership activates when there is a significant threat to a partner municipality. Once activated, staff from the partner municipalities work together to respond which allows resources such as firefighters, enforcement officers, and strategic municipal staff to be redeployed in the most effective method.
“Previous responses have proven the success of the partnership, and although this emergency is different in many ways, the constant is the dedication of staff and calibre of work to keep our communities safe,” said Jennifer Wood, GPREP Manager. “Staff have exercised flexibility, and like others across the world, have embraced new ways of operating to respond to the pandemic.”
“An example is the shift to a virtual Emergency Coordination Centre. With stringent physical distancing measures seen globally, we were preparing for remote work since the onset. Three weeks ago, we limited staff working on-site to a core group, and two weeks ago we transitioned the Emergency Coordination Centre to a virtual platform.”
GPREP is currently offering services to the community such as the Community Care Program, an overnight cot program, isolation supports for vulnerable persons, an ‘offers to help’ database, and monitoring of the regional supply chain to ensure access to goods.
State of Local Emergency
The Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership has renewed the State of Local Emergency in the City of Grande Prairie, County of Grande Prairie, Towns of Beaverlodge, Sexsmith, and Wembley, and the Village of Hythe.
It has been renewed four times due to the legislative requirement to renew after 7 days under the Alberta Emergency Management Act.
For the latest information on GPREP’s emergency response in the region, visit gprep.ca.