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Langley Township withdraws from joint emergency program with City

Joint emergency preparedness program has been in place for almost 25 years
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Volunteer David Jenkins is one of the amateur radio “gurus” the Langley Emergency Program would rely on to maintain communications in the event of a serious disaster. Jenkins was part of an all-day rehearsal at the municipal Emergency Operations Centre in summer 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley Township wants to stop its partnership with Langley City and the Joint Emergency Program.

The City announced the withdrawal, saying that the Township’s acting fire chief sent written notice with end the partnership of almost 25 years.

“The Joint Langley Emergency Program has served both the City and the Township well during times of emergency and disaster by sharing resources, support and expertise from both communities,” said Langley City Mayor Nathan Pachal. “You need all hands on deck when responding to an emergency or a disaster. The City regrets that the benefits from this joint emergency program will end after decades of successful partnership and coordination. We will continue to work with our dedicated and invaluable Emergency Social Service (ESS) volunteers through this transition.”

Under the City’s Emergency Program Bylaw, 2009, No. 2775 and the Township’s Emergency Program Bylaw, 2009, No. 4748, either municipality may withdraw from participating in the inter-municipal emergency program by providing written notice at least six months in advance of the withdrawal, according to the City.

Over the years, the program has allowed the two communities to jointly develop and coordinate community plans for preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery under a joint emergency planning coordinator.

“The City recognizes that there will be financial and operational implications to both communities by severing the joint Langley Emergency Program. However, we have the capacity and resources, and will continue to work with our partners to provide a robust emergency program for our residents,” he said.

The joint program allowed for a more coordinated response between the agencies involved in emergency situations, including the municipalities, the RCMP, fire departments, BC Ambulance, the Langley School District, B.C. Ministry of Public Safety, B.C. Ministry of Health, railways, utilities, and Emergency Management B.C.

The Langley Advance Times has reached out to the Township for comment on the decision.

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• READ MORE: Langley’s emergency preparedness fair

• READ MORE: Langley rehearses for a disaster

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Heather Colpitts

About the Author: Heather Colpitts

Since starting in the news industry in 1992, my passion for sharing stories has taken me around Western Canada.
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