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The Exceptional Work of the Athabasca County FCSS Team during the Slave Lake Crisis

The Athabasca County Family and Community Social Services (FCSS) team is responsible for an area which extends over a significant amount of north-eastern Alberta. While there is a primary Reception Centre identified as the Regional Athabasca Multiplex and alternate county locations, the FCSS team can respond as a fully functional mobile Reception Centre team able to meet  the needs of displaced citizens throughout the county.

The recent Slave Lake fire and town evacuation was a devastating incident that necessitated a large scale reception centre to be set up at the Regional Multiplex. This involved the full activation of the FCSS Reception Centre Team and multitudes of volunteers. The Slave Lake emergency was the first “real opportunity” for the FCSS team to activate, set-up and conduct a reception centre. Given the inclusion of more than 1000 displaced residents and their pets, the FCSS Reception Centre Team rose to an unprecedented level. The FCSS team created a caring and positive/supportive atmosphere as they set up the Reception Centre and throughout the processing of the displaced casualties.

The FCSS team demonstrated that they are well aware of their respective roles and responsibilities in the event of an emergency and were very supportive of other functions throughout the processing of evacuees.

ERMC is proud to have been a part of the development process of the Athabasca FCSS team. Having recently worked with the team on a similar but small scale evacuation exercise in 2010, it was felt that this team was capable and willing to selflessly give of their time to establish and conduct a fully functional reception centre.

Marcellus F Adamkewicz, Consultant

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