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Canadian transporters focusing on emergency response measures

CANADIAN transporters, like those in the United States, are focusing on emergency response measures in their operations, according to Curt Roush, Harmac Transportation Inc, and Bob Goodfellow, PSC Emergency Response Services.

Roush noted that Transport Canada, the government's oversight agency for transportation, mandates carriers to have a response plan that includes identification of preventive measures, proper equipment, and a training program. Carriers must test and review their plans, keep them current, and conduct exercises.

“When the phone rings (with an emergency) — that is not the time to test the plan,” Roush said.

There are various governmental agencies that oversee carriers throughout Canada, and carriers should know who they are and where they are located.

He recommended that response actions be kept simple and understood by all responding to emergency, while at the same time being pertinent to the situation at hand. All actions must address danger to life and property as top priority.

He advised carriers to have a media relations plan that is brief and concise so that accurate information is dissiminated. Companies should get the emergency situation under control before speaking to the media, if possible, and then give only fatality and/or injuries in number, not using names or conditions.

Goodfellow discussed the Canadian Emergency Response Contractors Alliance, a group composed of 29 emergency response contractors. The group provides various services, including training sessions and technical advisers.

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