Two long-time volunteers with the local Emergency Support Services (ESS) are stepping back from their roles, and the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) wants to show its appreciation for their work.
Quadra Island’s Emergency Support Services Director Judy Hagen and Comox Valley’s Emergency Support Services Director Marg Carr have each spent ten years on the organizing committee for the Regional Emergency Support Services (ESS) Leadership Workshop – which has been held in Campbell River each fall since 2012 – but have decided to pass that role on to others moving forward.
“Judy and Marg will continue to support ESS in their own community but have decided to step aside from the workshop organizing committee and pass the obligation for planning future workshops to North Island Emergency Preparedness (NIEP)” says the press release issued by the SRD.
SRD Protective Services Coordinator Shaun Koopman says both volunteers are highly respected for their achievements by the Emergency Program Coordinators in their communities.
“Judy has been my mentor since I came to the SRD and has been the cornerstone of building one of the most successful rural volunteer emergency programs in the province,” Koopman says.
Comox Valley Regional District Emergency Program Coordinator Howie Siemens – who held Koopman’s position for a time before moving down Island to take on a similar role with the Comox Valley Regional District – wholeheartedly agrees.
“I have had the pleasure of working directly with both Judy and Marg as their Emergency Program Coordinator during my time with the SRD and now with the Comox Valley Regional District,” Siemens says. “Both of them have a similar leadership style that has them always stepping forward to support ESS delivery and/or learning.”
In 2015, NIEP was formed primarily to help with the ever increasing complexity of planning workshops that were relevant to the needs of ESS teams on the North Island.
“The Strathcona Regional District wishes to express its gratitude to both Judy and Marg for the endless hours they have put into these leadership workshops” says Strathcona Regional District Chair Michele Babchuk. “Since 2012, these workshops have been held in the Campbell River area and as they evolved, they attracted attendance from all parts of Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland and the Interior. Our regional emergency program recognizes that disasters span political boundaries and it is crucial our communities plan and train together.”
The 2020 Regional Emergency Support Services (ESS) Leadership Workshop will be planned by North Island Emergency Preparedness going forward. To find out more information about the many ways you can be involved in Emergency Support Services in your community, visit www.srd.ca/services/emergency-management