Sidney Fire Chief Brett Mikkelson stands with a sign advertising the Town’s emergency notification system. To date it has more than 1,200 people signed up. (Steven Heywood/News staff file)

Sidney wants a single emergency notification system

Town to meet with their neighbouring Saaniches about merging under PEMO

Three communities on the Saanich Peninsula are looking into combining their emergency notification systems into one, and Sidney took recent steps to put those discussions into motion.

Town council approved a recommendation to have its fire chief and emergency management co-ordinator meet with their counterparts in Central and North Saanich. The goal would be to talk about how to merge three independent emergency notification systems into one.

North Saanich announced its own mass notification system in March 2017, the last of the three Peninsula municipalities to do so.

Sidney started its system in October of 2016. Central Saanich began theirs in March of 2016.

As of October, 2017, North Saanich had around 350 people signed up, Central Saanich had more than 200 and Sidney topped them both with 1,200-plus at that time.

Earlier this year, during Fire Prevention Week activities, the various fire departments hinted that merging all three systems was being talked about as a possibility. Sidney’s vote in December appears to formalize that process.

What’s on the table is taking all three notification systems and amalgamating them under the umbrella of the Peninsula Emergency Management Organization (PEMO).

The resulting system would be, according to Sidney, administered and funded by PEMO — with money normally allocated to the program by the three municipalities added to PEMO’s budget for that purpose.

Sidney Councillor Peter Wainwright said this would be a voluntary look at merging the services. For Sidney alone, it could save $1,288 a year.

Sidney’s mass notification system annual funding is around $7,224, and that amount would be re-allocated to PEMO in this scenario.

A combined service, according to Sidney town staff, would deliver consistent messaging and potentially increase the people to sign up for it.

Mass notification systems are designed to reach populations — or specific neighbourhoods — with up to date information about disasters or other emergency incidents, from local authorities.

Just Posted

Sooke’s Lifelong Learning group keeps minds active

Seniors engage in “Einstein for Beginners” and more

Sooke students rally to stock food bank shelves

“For me, it makes the Christmas spirit come alive.”

West Shore sees a decrease in drug trafficking reports

West Shore RCMP sees an increase in drug seizures

Algae bloom at Elk Lake prompts CRD advisory notice

Reappearance of blue-green algae lethal to dogs a constant concern for water quality

B.C. historian helped Viola Desmond make it on the $10 bill

Merna Forster of Oak Bay petitioned for years for a Canadian woman to be honoured on currency

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Trial: Witness describes encounter with accused murderer while tending to fatally injured Descoteau

Wright said he was working in his yard when he heard a woman screaming.

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Most Read