MD employee recognized for work in emergency management

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Foothills: Clayton Terletski receives national attention for efforts

An MD employee has been recognized for his dedication to emergency preparedness.

Clayton Terletski, director of emergency management for the MD of Foothills, received one of the first annual Canadian Exemplary Service Awards in Recognition of Outstanding Work in Emergency Management at a ceremony in Ottawa in May.

He was then recognized by MD council at its June 27 meeting.

“It’s an honour receiving the award,” said Terletski. “I know even in Alberta there are tons of people who are qualified and do a really good job, so just being nominated is amazing.”

He was nominated by one of his co-workers at the MD for the amount of work he has put into emergency management, particularly since the 2013 flood.

His eligibility was based on how he developed and expanded the MD’s emergency management program and promoted emergency management in the area.

That included developing an alerting system for the MD, and then working with the Town of High River to transform it into a regional emergency alert system, he said.

He also set up an emergency co-ordinations centre (ECC) at the MD of Foothills main building, with a secondary location in place for backup at Heritage Pointe Fire Station, and trained staff so everyone feels confident and comfortable working in the ECCs in the event of an emergency.

There was a lot of training involved over the last five years, and some work with the federal government’s emergency management task force and regional partners through emergency management committees, he said.

“There was a lot of work, but it was work that needed to be done,” said Terletski.

As for the future of emergency management in the Foothills, Terletski said it will be more of the same – being prepared for any scenario.

“Just continue working, trying to make it better, trying to make people aware of any emergencies out there, getting more staff trained up and being able to respond as quick as we can and plan for unplanned events,” he said.

Reeve Larry Spilak said MD council was thrilled to have Terletski recognized at the national level. He was well-deserving of the honour, he said.

“He has taken himself to a level where he’s prepared the MD for any future emergencies,” said Spilak.

Terletski has put together an inventory of equipment for emergencies at the MD public works office worth over $1 million, he said. The equipment is not only for MD use, but is also farmed out to other communities facing disaster – earlier this spring, some was sent to Taber to help with overland flooding, he said.

He also developed the MD’s emergency management plan, which outlines policies and procedures in the case of any emergency situation, he said.

“Clayton was very deserving of this award,” said Spilak. “He’s gone above and beyond anything in our expectations.”

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