Red Deer city council got the ball rolling on striking up an official partnership with seven surrounding communities in responding to large-scale disasters.
On Monday, Red Deer city council approved formalizing a Red Deer Regional Emergency Management Partnership between the city and Red Deer County, Bowden, Delburne, Elnora, Innisfail, Penhold and Sylvan Lake.
The idea is to co-operate and co-ordinate with these surrounding communities when a large-scale disaster, such as a tornado, windstorm, flood, or train derailment creates cross-jurisdictional havoc.
Council was told that each jurisdiction would still be autonomous in declaring its own state of emergency.
But when a far-reaching disaster overwhelm the services of just one municipality, requiring help from neighbours, the partnership would help co-ordinate relief efforts and stop a competition for resources.
Council unanimously supported taking steps to form the partnership.
Several councillors remarked that the “synergies” achieved by collaboratively running emergency training and planning operations would also result in some cost-savings.