There is an interesting article on the Cabin Radio website about COVID-19: https://cabinradio.ca/126850/news/health/coronavirus/in-the-next-pandemic-what-would-kandola-and-cochrane-do-differently/ . The article includes a summary of the recommendations made in: Learning from the Response to COVID-19 at https://www.fin.gov.nt.ca/sites/fin/files/resources/learning_from_the_response_to_covid-19-report_and_recommendations.pdf . That document was published in March 2023. The Government of the Northwest Territories website page is at https://www.fin.gov.nt.ca/en/resources/learning-response-covid-19-report-and-recommendations .
While the Yellowknife Amateur Radio Society had very little involvement with the COVID pandemic or the territorial response, the report does mention the Territorial Emergency Management Organization (EMO) and also contains a recommendation respecting the Incident Command System (ICS). The ICS is an important feature of the civil defence aspects of the Society and how the Society organizes and prepares for emergencies. This website is actually structured on it.
At page 10 of the Report:
The Incident Command System (ICS) was widely highlighted as a possible solution to help simplify and streamline the GNWT response to extraordinary events in the future. The ICS is a standardized system designed to enable effective, efficient incident management. It has been effectively employed in NWT wildfire management and is the structure adopted in the NWT Emergency Plan. The ICS can be adapted by any agency responding to emergency incidents and is well suited for objective-based decision making, given that its foundation is built on defining clear roles, responsibilities, and accountability.
The wide adoption of the ICS could streamline future emergency responses and help resolve many of the challenges experienced with coordination of the initial COVID-19 emergency response.
It is recommended that:
- The GNWT: (i) mandate the implementation of a coordinated ICS across all departments and agencies; (ii) establish and document roles and responsibilities with appropriate authority, expertise and resources within the GNWT, including specific and generic job descriptions that may support the timely redeployment of staff to support the expertise required to respond to such events; and (iii) formally establish a process to identify and resolve issues that may arise with use of the ICS structure.
- The GNWT identify specific competencies and skill sets to respond to urgent situations, support the ICS and ensure the most effective teams can be obtained in a short timeframe.
We are not entirely sure of the impact of this report on the Society but are studying it and welcome any thoughts and suggestions from the membership or from other amateur radio societies engaged in civil defence and emergency preparedness.