County for­mal­izes emer­gency ser­vices ar­range­ment

The Barrie Examiner - - FRONT PAGE - AN­DREW PHILIPS

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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