OAEM Community News Digest

Jan. 2024 

  • OAEM and FESTI to announce rescheduled date for the FEMA PIO Awareness Training Certificate Course (3-day in person) at FESTI Mississauga...stay tuned!

  • Join DRI Canada's webinar series for February 2024 - Overview of the 2023 Updates to the Professional Practices – February 8, 2024 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST
  • This webinar will provide a high-level overview of the recent updates to the Professional Practices. As part of DRI International’s ongoing efforts to maintain the relevance and utility of the Professional Practices, an extensive revision of substance, form, and function was undertaken beginning on November 1, 2021 and finishing August 1, 2022.
    Speaker Steve Palubiski, MCBP Certification Commission Chair

  • The Ontario government is investing $7.5 million over three years to help keep municipalities safe from the risks associated with old and inactive oil and gas wells. The funding will be used by municipalities to enhance emergency preparedness within their communities and prevent emergencies. This investment is the next step in the province’s $23.6 million action plan to tackle the challenges related to legacy oil and gas wells. Learn more: Ontario News Release
  • The OAEM Board of Directors congratulates Mark MacDonald, new Executive Director Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC)
  • Natural Resources Canada will launch an Earthquake Early Warning system (EEW) for regions of Canada at risk from earthquakes, in spring 2024 in British Columbia, and fall 2024 in Ontario and Quebec. Your feedback regarding the Earthquake Early Warning Pre-Launch Survey Questions will be helpful in ensuring the EEW system is effective for people in your area. The survey includes up to 18 questions, takes about 3 to 5 minutes to complete, and will close on January 31st, 2024.
  • OAEM announces Emergency Management Spotlight Series webinar event for January 17, 2024: A Practical Overview of Damage Assessment and Disaster Financial Assistance in Ontario with guest speaker Roderick Peters, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Register now...spaces are limited! 
  • Interested in serving on the OAEM Board? OAEM offers a sense of being valued, a feeling of belonging to Ontario's emergency management and business continuity community and the opportunity to make a positive, impactful professional contribution for others - empowered volunteers! Thank you for your wise words, Tiger Schmittendorf. 

Dec. 2023

  • Emergency Food Plan (EFP) for Thunder Bay: Prepared by the City of Thunder Bay, Area Food Strategy and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit (Nov. 2023): ERP was developed to address the challenges related to food access and its associated impacts on health ad wellbeing during emergency events in the City of Thunder Bay with connections to the six surrounding municipalities and Fort William First Nation. It does this through identifying potential hazards and risks to food access in order to prepare, plan and respond in the most effective manner. Thank you to Greg Bartlett, EMO Field Officer Thunder Bay for sharing the EFP with OAEM. 
  • Disaster Recovery Institute (DRI) International, has announced updates to its Professional Practices for Business Continuity Management. This extensive revision of substance, form, and function was undertaken as part of DRI’s ongoing efforts to maintain the relevance and utility of the Professional Practices. The Professional Practices (PPs) is a body of knowledge designed to assist in the development, implementation, and maintenance of business continuity programs, as well as a tool for conducting assessments of existing programs. 
  • The 2024 DRI Canada Symposium Planning Committee invites submissions for the first symposium to be held in Gatineau, Quebec on April 11, 2024.  DRI Canada invites industry professionals to submit proposals to present on topics such as lessons identified from recent experiences, organizational resilience, exercise design, crisis communication, BIA, incident command, supply chain, mental wellness.  Submissions are encouraged in both English and French and from all professionals working in or with the business continuity/disaster recovery profession. 
  • Save the date! The Canadian Hazmat and CBRNE Summit 2024, Canada's premier training event, hosted by the Ontario Hazardous Materials Responders Association (OHMRA), is taking place this year on April 8-10 in Kitchener. Early bird registration is now open!  
  • Lincoln Council passes a motion asking the province to update the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA): 'The evolving nature of emergencies, including but not limited to pandemics, cyber threats, climate-related events, mental health crisis and homelessness, requires a modernized and comprehensive legislative framework to empower municipalities to effectively respond and protect their communities." 
  • OAEM and FESTI are thrilled to announce the 3-day in-person, FEMA Public Information Officer (PIO) Awareness Training Certificate Course (L0105) January 15-17, 2024 with FEMA Instructor Rob Keller. For more information and to register, visit: https://mms.oaem.ca/Calendar/moreinfo.php?eventid=114026&org_id=OAEM
  • OAEM's newly elected Board Members will meet on December 11th for the First Meeting of Officers and Directors. Stay tuned for OAEM's Director portfolio announcement!

Nov. 2023 

  • Ontario is investing $78 million in telecommunications infrastructure to help municipalities and emergency response centres transition to a new emergency communications system known as Next Generation 9-1-1. The funding is part of the government’s $208 million investment to help emergency operators and dispatchers save more lives by transitioning to the enhanced Next Generation 9-1-1. Learn more about Next Generation 9-1-1

  • Important notice: OAEM's AGM scheduled to take place on November 24th will be hosted virtually only from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Don't forget to register and receive a ZOOM meeting invitation link!

  • OAEM announces Emergency Management Spotlight Series webinar event for November 22: Why You Need a Dedicated Emergency Management Solution with Guest Speaker Cynthia Weeden, President FutureShield  Inc. Register now...spaces are limited!

Oct. 2023

  • Ontario Strengthens Emergency Preparedness to Keep People and Communities Safe: The Ontario government is investing $5 million to ensure communities across the province have the resources and equipment they need to prepare for natural disasters and emergencies. The government is now accepting applications for the new Community Emergency Preparedness Grant to help communities and organizations purchase critical supplies, equipment and deliver training and services to improve local emergency preparedness and response. Applications close November 30, 2023. (Source: News Release October 27, 2023 Treasury Board Secretariat)  
  • Preliminary Course Announcement: OAEM is thrilled to host the FEMA Public Information Officer Awareness Training Certificate Course: January 15-17, 2024 (3-Day) with Instructor Rob Keller, Crisis Communications FEMA Trainer (PIO/JIC) at the Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI) in Mississauga. OAEM Member and Non-Member course fee and registration details coming soon! 

  • OAEM announces new Board position: Director of Indigenous Emergency Management! On September 21, 2023, the Ontario Association of Emergency Managers (OAEM) Board of Directors approved the creation of a new position on the Board: Director of Indigenous Emergency Management. This new portfolio is the capstone of OAEM’s First Nations Advisory Team (FNAT) dedicated to building a stronger, more integrated network of emergency management and business continuity professionals from across Ontario. Quote: ‘OAEM recognizes the knowledge of Indigenous peoples and culture as integral to the success of the Association including engagement principles and perspectives relevant to First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Members - establishing a dialogue with respect to setting OAEM's strategic priorities and activities in the years to come.’ Wilbert Wesley, Lead OAEM First Nations Advisory Team (FNAT). Nominations for vacant Board positions will be filled by election of the membership at this year’s Annual General Meeting on November 24th. Members who are interested in serving on the volunteer Board are encouraged to submit a Board Nomination Form to secretary@oaem.ca by November 3rd
  • The Ontario Hazardous Materials Responders Association (OHMRA) is presenting 'Ex-Unified Rescue' Incident Command Training Tabletop Exercise for Hazmat Incidents on Thursday, October 26 from 8:30 to 12:00 noon in Fergus, Ontario. Instruction by Emergency Management Ontario. Registration for OHMRA Members is free and Non-members is $50 (includes a 1 year membership to OHMRA). Click here for more details and to register
  • Severe summer storms in Ontario cause over $340 million in insured damage, according to initial estimates from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatlQ). Read more
  • Dufferin County and its local municipal partners continue to lead the way in emergency preparedness and are ready to meet the needs of residents and visitors in any crisis. Together, Dufferin County, Amaranth, East Garafraxa, Grand Valley, Melancthon, Mono, Mulmur, Orangeville and Shelburne have purchased and stocked eight municipal emergency support services (ESS) trailers to provide support in local crisis situations. These trailers are the first of their kind in Ontario at a regional level and will help ensure the safety and well-being of the community in emergency situations. The ESS trailers will be stationed in each lower-tier municipality for rapid deployment to designated shelters. Click here to learn more.
  • Members are the lifeblood of our Association and the reason why we do what we do! Drop us a line...Connect with Us! 
  • Call for OAEM Board Nominations! Put your name forward to stand for election to the Board of Directors at this year's Annual General Meeting taking place on November 24th. Please complete a Board Nomination Form by November 3rd and submit it to secretary@oaem.ca
  • OAEM congratulates the 2022 Emergency Management Exemplary Service Award (EMESA) Recipients granted in five categories: Resilient Communities, Search and Rescue Volunteers, Search and Rescue Employees, Youth and Outstanding Contribution to Emergency Management. EMESA is a prestigious recognition for exceptional service and achievement. This award, a partnership between provincial, territorial and federal governments, recognizes recipients who have achieved excellence in their respective fields. 
  • OAEM announces Emergency Management Spotlight Series Webinar event for October 18th: Pelmorex: an overview of the National Public Alerting Network with Guest Speaker Martin Belanger Director Public Alerting at Pelmorex. Register now...spaces are limited!
  • OAEM is thrilled to welcome our newest Website Sponsors:
  • F.A.S.T. First Aid & Survival Technologies Limited; 30 years of custom safety and emergency products
  • 3D Security Services (est. 2016) - Security and Response Services
  • Contribute to OAEM's Members' Corner; a space for members to share their experience with OAEM and the value of membership. We want to hear from you about what sparked your connection with the OAEM community. Interested in contributing? Share your experience at president@oaem.ca
  • Join us at this year's Annual General Meeting on November 24, 2023 at 8:30 a.m. taking place at the Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI) in Mississauga as we present a year in review and introduce the 2024 Board. Our special guest speaker is Deryn Rizzi, Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Management, City of Mississauga. Enjoy a complimentary luncheon while you network with Members. And more...fill out a ballot to win a door prize donated by Alectra Utilities: an emergency preparedness backpack. Thank you to our AGM sponsor North City Insurance. Register today!

Sept. 2023

  • In September 2023 Minister Caroline Mulroney was appointed President of the Treasury Board of Ontario where she is responsible for expenditure management for the government of Ontario. As President of the Treasury Board, Minister Mulroney is also responsible for Emergency Management Ontario and for modernizing public sector procurement.

  • Are you interested in serving on the OAEM Board? Please complete a Board Nomination Form by November 3rd. Elections take place at the AGM on November 24th! Register to attend the AGM
  • Dale Gartshore takes on the role of Deputy Fire Chief and CEMC for the City of Sarnia Fire Rescue. Congratulations!
  • CIFAL York is hosting a symposium: Inside the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PH-EOC) during COVID-19 Pandemic and Next Generation Pandemic Exercise on September 28th and 29th. For details and a link to the registration: https://www.yorku.ca/cifal/pheoc/.
  • The City of Cambridge and the Township of Woolwich is planning a joint exercise over the next two years. Year 1 is a tabletop exercise in preparation for the Year 2 full scale exercise. It will be a great experience that provides a feasible and effective educational experience that improves operational readiness for both municipalities.
  • OAEM ‘In Your Community’ looks forward to participating in the Hamilton CAER Group late Summer Session on September 28th. The session will focus on emergency management within the transportation sector. 
  • OMSSA two-day interactive workshop hosted by the LOOMEX Group to help you understand and identify how social services should fit into your emergency operations: Managing Emergency Social Services Workshop in-person on October 19-20 at the City of Windsor Emergency Operations Centre
  • Join OAEM's Emergency Management Spotlight Series webinar event on September 20th with guest speaker Darrin Spence Board Chair First Nations Emergency Response Association (FNERA). Register now!   
  • Did you know that as part of OAEM’s strategic partnership with DRI Canada, Members can take advantage of a 15% discount on high caliber training and certification in business continuity? DRI Canada offers a wide variety of business continuity courses to enhance your professional education, knowledge and skills. Are you interested? To register for a DRI Canada course and receive an exclusive OAEM Member discount, please refer to the Course Registration Instructions

August 2023

  • OAEM is thrilled to announce the launch of their first ever Member Ambassador Program; an outreach campaign that leverages the power of relationships! Member Ambassadors are OAEM members (Individual, Corporate and Student) representing Canada’s largest professional emergency management and business continuity Association – Ontario’s public, private, indigenous, non-government emergency management and business continuity professional community including next generation students. Click here to learn more! 
  • Join OAEM's Emergency Management Spotlight Series webinar event on August 16th featuring the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association (OMSSA) with guest speakers Doug Ball, Executive Director and Darryl Wolk, Manager Policy Development and Public Affairs. Learn about the role of the Municipal Service Manager in emergency social services planning, managing and responding to local emergencies. 
  • The year's Annual General Meeting will be held in-person on Friday, November 24 2023 at 8:30 a.m. at the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI) located at 2025 Courtney Park Drive in Mississauga. An official notice and information package will be provided to all Members at a later date. Planning is underway for this special event and the excitement is building!  

July 2023

  • OAEM is calling Next Generation Emergency Management and Business Continuity Professionals! Applications Go Live on August 1st. OAEM is seeking emerging emergency management and business continuity professionals to join the Student Subcommittee from September 2023 to June 2024. For more information, visit the EM Students section of our website.
  • Congratulations to Deryn Rizzi, Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Management City of Mississauga on receiving the prestigious Fire Chief of the Year Award from the Ontario Municipal Fire Prevention Officers Association.
  • The OAEM Board is thrilled to announce that Charles-Antoine Duval (Emergency Management Specialist QM Environmental) has joined our prestigious volunteer Board of Directors as interim appointed Director of Student Engagement (formerly Education). Welcome aboard!
  • The OAEM Board is thrilled to announce that Scott Hill, CPP, PSP (Director of 3D Security and Response Services) has joined our prestigious volunteer Board of Directors as interim appointed Treasurer/Privacy Officer (Executive Board). Welcome aboard!
  • Please join the OAEM Board in congratulating Wilbert Wesley as a recipient of an Emergency Management Exemplary Service Award (EMESA) for his outstanding achievements in the field of emergency management! The EMESA is a prestigious recognition for exceptional service and achievement. This award, a partnership between provincial, territorial and federal governments, recognizes recipients who have achieved excellence in their respective fields. Wilbert Wesley is the Emergency Management Services Manager for the Mushkegowuk Council and is the OAEM First Nations Advisory Team (FNAT) Lead. To learn more about the EMESA, visit: https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/mrgnc-mngmnt/xmplry-wrds/index-en.aspx
  • OAEM announces Emergency Management Spotlight Series Event for July 19th: an overview of the Municipal Recovery Assistance Program and Guidelines with guest speaker Roderick Peters, Municipal Programs and Outreach, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (event reschdule to January 2024)
  • OAEM 2023 Annual General Meeting event planning is now underway! The excitement is building...
  • New OAEM Member Ambassador Program is coming your way! Details to be shared in August.  
  • The OAEM Board is thrilled to announce that Denise Scholtz (Emergency Management and Business Continuity Manager, City of Cambridge) will be joining our prestigious volunteer Board of Directors as interim appointed Secretary (Executive Board). Welcome aboard!

June 2023

  • CIFAL York Events Speaker Series: Emergency Management in Hospitals and Healthcare begins on Wednesday, July 5th, 2023, with speaker Kassondra Stockman presenting on the topic of the Application of the Ontario IMS in Healthcare Settings. https://www.yorku.ca/cifal/emhospitals/ and Environment, Social, and Governance in Practice begins on Wednesday, July 12th, 2023, with speaker Claire Bennet presenting on the topic of ESG Reporting: Drivers and Trends. https://www.yorku.ca/cifal/esgpractice/ Both events will be held virtually via Zoom Webinar. Registration is open and free!

  • OAEM Members can now view, download and print online learning certificates! How? Go to www.oaem.ca and Sign In (Member Login). Next, click the Resources tab (under Member Menu), click Online Learning and scroll down to My Certificates.
  • OAEM congratulates Melanie Jones, City of Brockville’s new Fire Chief!
  • OAEM is excited to announce the date for their 2023 in-person Annual General Meeting: November 24th. Details coming soon!
  • OAEM congratulates Assistant Deputy Fire Marshal John Snider for being appointed as Ontario's Deputy Fire Marshal!
  • OAEM congratulates Kevin Smith on being appointed President of the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada! 
  • Daphe Farrell, OAEM Director of Communities, presents 'OAEM In Your Community' at the spring EMO Sector Meeting in Toronto
  • OAEM First Nations Advisory Team (FNAT) meets with the Board to discuss current and future goals
  • OAEM is excited to announce our partnership with North City Insurance Brokers to provide discounted group rates for our Members on their Home and Auto insurance. North City Insurance Brokers brings over 40 years of experience in providing exceptional savings to professional association members throughout Ontario.
  • OAEM hosts EM Spotlight Series virtual event with Guest Speaker Sharon Bak talking about Mental Health for Emergency Management Professionals on June 21
  • OAEM proudly supports Boots on the Ground; Anonymous Peer Support for Ontario's First Responder Community

May 2023

  • OAEM's 2nd Annual Tribute to First Responders Day on May 1st was a huge success! A sincere thank you to everyone who participated in this year's event by contributing a tribute video.
  • OAEM's Communications Team collaborated with EMO to amplify and promote key messages for this year's Emergency Preparedness Week campaign. Thank you to Martin Gierzcak, Director of Communications, and Editors Megan Storozuk and Colin Mander for creating original video content highlighting a wide range of risk specific preparedness messaging.
  • EM Spotlight Series Virtual Event on May 11 - Flood Management in Ontario. During Emergency Preparedness Week, Conservation Ontario, the network of the 36 Conservation Authorities (CAs) is raising awareness of Ontario's flood management program, and the critical role of CAs in collaboration with emergency managers, municipalities, the province and other levels of government and partners. Thank you to our guest speakers Angela Coleman (General Manager Conservation Ontario), Katherine Watson (Coordinator, Flood Forecast and Warning Program, South Nation Conservation) and Mark Anderson, Water Quality Engineer, Grant River Conservation Authority!
  • EM Spotlight Series Virtual Event on May 17 - A Safe, Practiced and Prepared Ontario with Guest Speaker Bernie Derible, Deputy Minister and Commissioner of Emergency Management Ontario and sharing insights about Ontario's first-ever Provincial Emergency Management Strategy and Action Plan (PEMSAP). 
  • OAEM is proud to sponsor Dufferin County's EM Forum on May 31st in Orangeville! Daphne Farrell, Director of Communities, is a guest speaker at this year's micro-community forum and will present OAEM's new 'In Your Community' presentation. Thank you to Steve Murphy, CEMC/Manager - Preparedness, 911 and Corporate Projects, County of Dufferin and Daphne Farrell for the opportunity to engage with Ontario's emergency management community. 
  • OAEM is thrilled to announce our newest Website Sponsors: North City Insurance Brokers and the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). Thank you for your generous support! 
  • Workshop Announcement - Save the Date! OAEM is hosting a virtual, 1 day Scribe Training for the EOC with Training Facilitator Monique Rollin on September 18. Stay tuned for registration details. Limited spaces available.  
  • Exciting new Member benefit coming soon! 
  • OAEM launches their new official YouTube Channel.
  • Calling all OAEM Guest Bloggers! Are you interested in being an OAEM Guest Blogger - a thought leader who wants to share knowledge, insights and perspectives about the evolving and diverse field of emergency management in Ontario? Connect with us at communications@oaem.ca 

April 2023

  • The OAEM Board is thrilled to welcome two interim appointed Directors and a Board Member to the team: Catherine Blair, Vice President, Jason Reid Director of Partnerships and Charles-Antoine Duval, Student Board Member.

March 2023

  • OAEM launches their first ever Website Sponsorship Program!  Your best choice to promote your brand to the emergency management sector influencers and decision makers who matter most to your business, organization or association. And, it’s about so much more than your logo on OAEM’s website. It’s about gaining valuable business relationships and positioning your organization as a strong supporter of Ontario’s professional emergency management and business continuity community. Interested in learning more? Contact administration@oaem.ca

February 2023

  • The OAEM Team determines 7 Strategic Pillars at their annual in-person, member focused 2023 Strategic Planning Session. Thank you to Sonia Singh and Ben Gallagher (City of Mississauga) for their outstanding facilitation skills!
  • New Member Welcome Kits under construction!
  • OAEM issues memorandum regarding recent change to the OAEM Student Membership eligibility requirements as amended by special resolution at the 2022 Annual General Meeting. 

January 2023

  • The OAEM Board congratulates Douglas Holland on receiving the Ontario Municipal Management Institute (OMMI) CMM Emergency Management Accreditation. Well done!
  • Planning is now underway for OAEM's annual Tribute to First Responders Day and collaboration with EMO staff for the launch of this year's Emergency Preparedness Week outreach campaign. 
  • The OAEM Team is energized, driven and focused on delivering 'in your community' member value - connecting Ontario's emergency management and business continuity community.