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How It All Works

Who We Are

The Durham Emergency Management Office (DEMO) is tasked with the responsibility of co-ordinating an effective response to natural and human-caused disasters to ensure the safety of the residents of Durham Region.

DEMO works closely with your area municipalities, as well as Regional departments and volunteer agencies, to a provide planned and co-ordinated response to any emergency or disaster.

Train derailment Severe storm

What We Do

Emergency Management Program

DEMO designs and implements a full Community Emergency Management Program that encompass plans, exercises, training and public education. This includes:

  • Conducting and maintaining a hazard analysis for critical infrastructure and vital facilities within Durham Region.
  • Developing comprehensive emergency plans and implementing procedures consistent with the hazard analysis and local priorities.
  • Coordinating the off-site response for nuclear-related emergencies at the Pickering and Darlington nuclear generating stations as the designated [Regional] municipality under the Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan.
  • Identifying, organizing, equipping and maintaining Regional emergency facilities, such as the Regional Emergency Operations Centre in the Town of Whitby, the backup facility in the Township of Scugog, reception centres, evacuation centres and emergency worker centres.
  • Assisting area municipalities in an advisory capacity relating to localized emergencies, unless requested to take the lead role.
  • Assisting area municipalities in the preparation, evaluation and revision of their local plans to ensure continuity of information and a level of emergency preparedness consistent with Durham Region.
  • Formulating and co-ordinating training programs for Regional staff and other community response staff with emergency roles.
  • Designing and conducting exercises to test plans and train staff.
  • Promoting public education and awareness of emergency response plans, procedures, operations and exercises.

Operational Role
DEMO provides an on-call Duty Contact person 24 hours per day, seven days per week to:

  • Initiate emergency notification and recall Regional staff and elected officials as required.
  • Provide an initial liaison to the Province and other outside agencies.
  • Provide the initial point of contact for requests for assistance from the Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS), area municipalities or neighbouring communities.

Emergency Response Organization

Protecting Your Safety: Shown in target - Federal, Province, Region, Municipality, ResidentDurham Region activates a comprehensive emergency response organization in order to manage emergencies.

With the exception of a nuclear emergency, which is controlled by the Province from the onset, Durham Region uses a bottom-up approach in all phases of non-nuclear emergency management with emergency activities being initiated at the municipal level of government.

Regional Emergency Operations Centre

The Regional Emergency Operations Centre (REOC) is located in the Town of Whitby. The centre is staffed by senior personnel from Regional departments, Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) and other designated community partners. These personnel co-ordinate the response effort to emergencies by integrating resources within the Region and facilitating co-ordination with the Province.

Depending on the level of the response required, the REOC can operate on a 24-hour-a-day-basis.

The alternate Emergency Operations Centre is located in the Township of Scugog.

Declaration of An Emergency

In accordance with the provisions of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O., 1990, Chapter E.9, Section 4, the Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer, may declare that an emergency exists within the Region or any part thereof and may take such action and make such orders as is reasonable and necessary to protect the health, safety and property of the residents of the Region. By-Law No. 04-2004 (PDF)

The Medical Officer of Health, under the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA), has the authority to control communicable diseases and the power to identify, reduce or eliminate health hazards. The Medical Officer of Health has the overall responsibility for directing the public health response to an influenza pandemic in Durham Region.

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