10 Qs with
Member of York Region’s Community and Health Services Department Emergency Management Team
4. What makes this team work successfully? How do you MANage this?
1. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY?
Spontaneously, I moved to Australia on a working holiday Visa and worked as a temp Emergency Case worker for Refugee Asylum Seekers at Australian Red Cross. I fell in love with emergency management work; came back home to Canada and joined CRC (Canadian Red Cross) as a volunteer; which led me to becoming an EM coordinator in Toronto where I managed all levels of emergencies including mass evacuations and supporting with COVID Response and then as a next major career move joined YR as an EM specialist.
As we are in charge of our department – Community and Health Services Department – we all have portfolios/branches divided amongst us.
Jennifer P has Commissioners Office, Housing Services and Emergency Social Services. Leila B has Integrated Business Services. Sunny K has Seniors Services
Jennet R has Paramedic Services and Operational Planning, and Emergency Social Services. Every couple of years we get shuffled and get to support and work on other portfolios, so the branches get different perspectives, support and cross training.
2. Tell us about what your unit does. How long has this been an all-Women’s Unit?
5. What are your personal contributions to the team’s success?
- Strategic advice when developing emergency and business continuity plans
- Community emergency planning (including Emergency Social Services)
- Business continuity planning
- Incident response and incident recovery planning
- Emergency preparedness/response education, training and exercises
- Support when organizing After Action Reviews or developing After Action Reports
Officially, this unit became an all-Women’s Unit on May 12, 2022. Unofficially we’ve been one since mid-March.
I like Jen’s response!
6. Since the beginning of this team, what is an obstacle
that you have overcome?
Leaving an NGO and joining YR – every day I am learning something new!
7. What advice would give to someone getting their
start in the field?
3. WHAT PROJECT ARE YOU THE MOST PROUD OF?
Focus on building relationships because when you do that the work becomes easy.
There are so many! I am proud of the people I have had the opportunity to meet and work with. Deployments have been pivotal career changing moments for me: British Columbia Bush Fires; Toronto Van Attack in 2016 26 tales of courage and compassion amid the chaos of the Toronto van rampage | The Star
COVID Response in Trenton Ontario: when very little was known about COVID; a request was made to CRC (Canadian red cross) to help with bringing Canadians home from the Princess Cruise Ship and China...since then I have been involved in a number of COVID related operations which brought me to YR where I am supporting the Seniors Services Team as the EM specialized assigned to this portfolio and as everyone working in the Health Care field, there have been no breaks since COVID began this is one of the most hardworking group of people I have ever met and I feel proud to be part of the Seniors Services Team and the Emergency Management Unit of CHS.