The City of Calgary has been applauded for its resiliency, and ability to respond efficiently under the duress of the flooding in 2013. The organization and deployment of response services was incredibly effective, thanks in part to the City of Calgary Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), completed just before the waters rose. Stantec’s engineering team from Edmonton was on the design team for the EOC, and won an award of merit from the Consulting Engineers of Alberta (CEA) for the way the building performed flawlessly from the moment the state of emergency was declared in Calgary.
This facility is basically an underground bunker, designed to be a hub for coordinating response efforts in the event of a disaster or major emergency. When disaster strikes, the EOC is the meeting point for representatives from The City of Calgary business units and external agencies like utilities companies and Alberta Health Services. Completely self-contained, the EOC can run off the grid for the critical first 72 hours of an emergency, allowing coordination of first responders no matter what state the city is in.
If the EOC’s successful performance wasn’t enough validation for our engineering work, we were reminded at the CEA Awards of the innovation in the design and its ability to withstand extreme circumstances. “This project demonstrates ingenuity in the province for a critical function in balance with the interest of the neighboring community,” one of the judges commented on the project.
It’s one of those projects we hope rarely gets put to the test. But when it does, we know the tools and technology are there to allow our city officials and first responders do what they do best: keep Calgarians safe.