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

Mysterious polaroid camera left along Metchosin trail reveals art project

Artist ‘Jar Binks’ lays claim to waterproof camera

Road work on Island Highway could cause some delays in View Royal

Temporary lane closures from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. between Beaumont and View Royal avenues

Two reports of prowlers in one night in Esquimalt

VicPD notes simple changes can help prevent crime around your home

Victoria recreation fees set to rise nearly five per cent

Fee increase needed for wages, aging infrastructure costs says staff report

Cloudy with a chance a rain ahead for Wednesday

Plus a look ahead at the weekend

VIDEO: Disney Plus gives Canadians a streaming platform that nearly matches U.S. version

The Walt Disney Company’s new subscription platform unveiled a comprehensive offering of nearly 500 films

Sex assault charge stayed against Port Moody mayor

Rob Vagramov appeared in provincial court in Port Coquitlam

73% of B.C. residents agree with a temporary ban on vaping products: poll

54% say they would not date someone who vapes, Research Co. poll suggests

B.C.’s 13-cent gasoline gap still a mystery, Premier John Horgan says

NDP plans legislation this month, seeks action from Justin Trudeau

Former Vancouver Canucks player suing financial advisors for negligence

Jason Garrison claimed his advisors failed to take his circumstances into account

Group walking on thin ice at B.C. lake sparks warning from RCMP

At least seven people were spotted on Joffre Lakes, although the ice is not thick enough to be walked on

B.C. teacher said he would use student to ‘whack’ two others on Grade 8 field trip

Campbell River teacher-on-call suspended three weeks after November 2018 incident

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

Bill Murray dons iconic Hudson’s Bay scarf to watch Canucks game in Vancouver

Murray is in Vancouver to film The Now, a mini-series directed by Peter Farrelly

Most Read