Sidney Fire Chief Brett Mikkelson stands with a sign advertising the Town’s emergency notification system. To date it has more than 1,200 people signed up. (Steven Heywood/News staff file)

Sidney wants a single emergency notification system

Town to meet with their neighbouring Saaniches about merging under PEMO

Three communities on the Saanich Peninsula are looking into combining their emergency notification systems into one, and Sidney took recent steps to put those discussions into motion.

Town council approved a recommendation to have its fire chief and emergency management co-ordinator meet with their counterparts in Central and North Saanich. The goal would be to talk about how to merge three independent emergency notification systems into one.

North Saanich announced its own mass notification system in March 2017, the last of the three Peninsula municipalities to do so.

Sidney started its system in October of 2016. Central Saanich began theirs in March of 2016.

As of October, 2017, North Saanich had around 350 people signed up, Central Saanich had more than 200 and Sidney topped them both with 1,200-plus at that time.

Earlier this year, during Fire Prevention Week activities, the various fire departments hinted that merging all three systems was being talked about as a possibility. Sidney’s vote in December appears to formalize that process.

What’s on the table is taking all three notification systems and amalgamating them under the umbrella of the Peninsula Emergency Management Organization (PEMO).

The resulting system would be, according to Sidney, administered and funded by PEMO — with money normally allocated to the program by the three municipalities added to PEMO’s budget for that purpose.

Sidney Councillor Peter Wainwright said this would be a voluntary look at merging the services. For Sidney alone, it could save $1,288 a year.

Sidney’s mass notification system annual funding is around $7,224, and that amount would be re-allocated to PEMO in this scenario.

A combined service, according to Sidney town staff, would deliver consistent messaging and potentially increase the people to sign up for it.

Mass notification systems are designed to reach populations — or specific neighbourhoods — with up to date information about disasters or other emergency incidents, from local authorities.

Just Posted

Friends, family remember Dan Sealey, stepson of Minister of Agriculture, in private gathering

Lana Popham confirmed Sealey died of an accidental drug overdose earlier this month at age 23

PHOTOS: Uptown lights up the holiday season

Annual event drew crowd of all ages for parade and Christmas tree lighting

New figures show City of Victoria spent $30,000 to remove Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

High school graduation rates on the rise in Greater Victoria

High school completion up from 71 to 86.8 per cent over 10 years

Mommy’s Inside Voice: A little piece of you

Mommy’s Inside Voice is a biweekly column by Amie Jay, a local mother of three

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Greater Victoria holiday craft fair roundup for Nov. 16 to 18

Check off all of the items on your shopping list at these great events

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

Most Read