Ste. Anne council adopts emergency response plan
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Council announced a three-year infrastructure project to upgrade the centre median and replace the aging street lights on Boulevard des Anciens-Combattants beginning this summer. The three-year capital works project will cost $360,000.
Ste. Anne de Bellevue has its emergency response plan in place to deal with any type of dangerous situation that may occur within its territory after Mayor Paola Hawa and five of the six councillors adopted it at the Monday evening council meeting, February 12. Councillor Ryan Young was absent.
Hawa said that with two pairs of railway tracks and two Autoroutes that cross through the municipality – Highways 20 and 40 – the city must be prepared to handle emergency situations whenever they may arise, especially knowing how to handle hazardous materials hauled by truck or rail car.
The city began to put its plan in place about two years ago by providing training to selected personnel to upgrade their response skills related to specific scenarios, said Hawa.
“If something happens to a truck or a train derails, we need to be able to react promptly,” said Hawa. “We can’t just rely on the SPVM (Montreal police). There has to be local management too. We worked with the Montreal department of civil security and came out with an emergency plan. We also conducted an emergency drill at the end of November that simulated a train derailment.”
“All our employees have been trained in various procedures – what to do, how to do it and what the chain of command is – so everybody knows what their responsibility is and how to follow the proper procedures and protocol,” said Hawa. “The last thing you want in an emergency is everyone running around not knowing what to do.”
The simulation, the first of its kind held by the Ste. Anne’s emergency response team, also allowed participants to identify areas that need improvement. It will also help the city to update the plan annually.
“It was our first drill, so all the key employees including Director General Martin Bonhomme and myself, received two other training sessions over the past year. This drill was to see how much we learnt from the training. There’s still more work to be done but we also have two years of work under our belt,” said Hawa.
She added that the plan received a “nine-on-ten” approval rating after being reviewed by Montreal’s civil security department, “...an almost perfect score. I’m very proud of it.”
Council also announced a three-year infrastructure project to upgrade the centre median and replace the aging street lights on Boulevard des Anciens-Combattants beginning this summer. The three-year capital works project will cost $360,000.
“The lighting on Anciens-Combattants is very, very old,” said Hawa. “If you ever look up, the poles are connected with wires and some of them are falling apart. It has to be updated.”
Work will also be done this summer to expand the concrete barrier along Boulevard-des-Anciens-Combattants to better separate the northbound section that heads towards Autoroute 40 and then continues east as Chemin Ste. Marie, from the westbound portion to prevent motorists from accidently crossing onto the wrong side of the road and into head-on traffic. Half the approximate $50,000 cost will be shared with the provincial Ministry of Transport.