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Stronger Together: Mutual Aid in Alberta

In keeping with this year’s conference theme of “Working Together”, this year Disaster Forum is highlighting a wonderful organization: Northeast Region Community Awareness and Emergency Response (NRCAER) with a panel discussion at the top of the first day.

NRCAER is the leading emergency preparedness and response mutual aid organization in Alberta. Formed in 1991, NRCAER was conceived as a partnership between industries and municipalities northeast of Edmonton. This session will illustrate the origins of NRCAER, the successes and challenges that this group has faced in its 26-year history.

Meet the Experts: Iain Bushell and Stan Norlander

Iain Bushell

Ian Bushell began his working life in the Canadian Air Force, serving for ten years as a navigator and tactical coordinator on Sea King helicopters. During his military career, he attained the rank of Captain and served in all three Maritime helicopter squadrons, including the operational training unit.  He served on board several navy ships and completed a six month tour of duty in Haiti.

Chief Bushell began his fire services career in 1993 as a volunteer firefighter and later Lieutenant with Halifax Fire and Emergency Services in Nova Scotia, before returning to Alberta in 1999.  He spent time as an EMT, dispatcher and paramedic student prior to joining Strathcona County Emergency Services in 2001.  Promoted to Deputy Chief in 2006, he has held the two portfolios of Finance & Human Resources (responsible for budget, recruitment and training), and Operations (responsible for fire, rescue and EMS services). Chief Bushell is a registered paramedic, earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Alberta, and completed the Executive Fire Officer program at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland.  Iain was promoted to the rank of Fire Chief in 2013.

Chief Bushell also holds the position of Director of Emergency Management.  He serves on the Strathcona County Type 3 All Hazards Incident Management Team and is qualified as both an Incident Commander and Planning Section Chief.  Together with his team, he responded to the 2013 floods in High River and the 2016 Horse River fire in Fort McMurray.


Stan Norlander

Stan Norlander started his career in the petro chemical industry in the mid 70’s at the Imperial Oil Fertilizer complex in Redwater, Alberta. He worked in Operations, initially as an Operations Technician and then as an Operations Supervisor with large chemical process units. He transferred to EH&S in the late 80’s as the plant site Fire Chief, and in 1990 Stan’s duties expanded to include Transportation Emergency Response for Esso Chemicals Canada.

Stan currently works as the corporate Emergency Preparedness & Security Manager, with responsibility for Emergency Preparedness and Security, Crisis Management, and Transportation Emergency Response at 28 plant sites and facilities for Agrium Inc. Agrium is a chemical fertilizer company with a significant number of operations around the world.

Stan has lived in the County Of Strathcona in Alberta for 35+ years, and joined Strathcona County Emergency Services in 1978 as a Volunteer fire fighter. During his career with Strathcona he served as a Captain and District Chief before retiring in 2008.

Stan teaches numerous emergency response courses to career and volunteer fire departments in both Canada and the U.S. He enjoys being involved in various organizations, and has served on the executives of 3 different Mutual Aid organizations, (Fort Map), (Sturgeon Map), and NRCAER, has been a past chairman of the Canadian Fertilizer Institute’s Emergency Response Committee, served as a Board member of RETA (Responsible Electrical Transmission for Albertans), and currently serves on the CFI (Canadian Fertilizer Institute) Safety & Training Committee, and as a Board member of NRCAER.

Don’t miss out on the wealth of experience and knowledge these seasoned pros will bring to the table at Disaster Forum 2017 – register today.

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