Canadian Consulting Engineer

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Large emergency operations room keeps watch in Ontario


The Government of Ontario has opened a new Provincial Emergency Operations Centre to serve as its nerve centre for coordinating the response to disasters such as flooding, fires or building collapses. Besides serving as the provincial emergency headquarters for the Office of the Fire Marshall and Emergency Management (OFMEM), the centre provides a single point of contact for municipalities and First Nations during crisis events.

The centre is located in the Forensic Services and Coroner’s Complex in Downsview in the north end of Toronto. It has moved there from a facility that is decades old near Queen’s Park.

The new operations room has 82 seats facing a 21-metre wide display wall of 30 LED monitors. The display is the largest in Canada and shows up to 20 live feeds from data, image or video sources, using technology that is also used by military agencies.

The centre is staffed around the clock.

The Ontario Government officially opened the centre to mark the 20th annual Emergency Preparedness Week, which is coordinated by Public Safety Canada.

This year is the 20th anniversary of the event and is on the theme of promoting emergency preparedness among those who live in multiple unit residential buildings and seniors residences.