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Disaster Forum 2017: A Look Back, and A Look Forward

One more successful Disaster Forum Conference in Banff, Alberta!!!. The conference theme; “Working Together to Build Capacity” couldn’t have been more appropriate in this day of increasing need and shrinking resources.

Appreciating Everyone who “Worked Together” On DF2017

A big thank you and a “job well done” goes out to all of those who contributed to the success of the conference. Special thanks to the Conference Advisory Board.  DF is a not for profit undertaking whose purpose is to promote professionalism in emergency preparedness and risk management in Canada. It is important to note that no member of the Advisory Board receives payment for the services they provide in planning and running the Disaster Forum Conference.

From the volunteer advisory board members to the speakers to the behind the scenes folks who made the week run so smoothly.  Thank you so much.  And thanks to our sponsors and delegates. Thank you to the companies, communities and government agencies for supporting the conference by allowing their people the time to attend this most important week. The sharing and learning was truly impressive. The keynote, panel sessions, breakout session, plenary, and world café provided delegates ample opportunity to learn from the best.  This included sharing with each other during the breaks and the social events.

Learning, Sharing, Engaging

The learning and sharing started first thing on Monday, May 8th with the rail car emergency response training session hosted by TRANSCAER, GATX and CP Rail.  DF delegates had a rare opportunity to climb on, under and over a rail car as they mingled with first responders while learning about railroad emergency response. Delegates started getting to know each other at the Welcome Reception held in the Banff Fire Hall on Monday night.

Tuesday morning found the delegates in the Max Bell Theatre hearing about the most successful municipal/industrial emergency response mutual aid organization in Canada. What a great way to kick off the week of learning about “Working Together to Build Capacity”. It didn’t stop there.

There was something for everyone who attended. We looked back to see what we could learn from events such as the Ft. McMurray wildfires of 2016. We looked forward to see what is developing in the technological world. We looked at best practices in strategy, in plan development and program maintenance. We looked at leadership, the psychology of a lone actor extremist, pipeline security, communications, business continuity and so much more.  Sessions were designed to engage the audiences as much as possible so that we could all benefit from the fantastic amount of knowledge that is held by the people who are sitting in the seats.

Wrapping up on Thursday, delegates left for home with a renewed commitment to excellence in emergency preparedness and to “Work Together to Build Capacity”.

The Next Chapter

DF 2017 was the twelfth conference held in Banff, Alberta and we look forward to the future with eager anticipation. There is so much more that can be done in this field. Disaster Forum is a key resource for anyone who wants to ensure that the organization that they work for is as well prepared as possible. In doing so they protect the public, the environment and their own survival. Stay tuned for more information as we move into the future with the Disaster Forum.

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