In May 2016, the community of Fort McMurray suffered the largest natural disaster Canada has ever faced. Nearly 90,000 residents were suddenly forced to flee their homes and evacuate the city as winds shifted and a raging wildfire descended upon the community. As disaster struck, ATCO mobilized.
In the largest coordinated response in our company’s history, more than 650 employees from across the organization came together during the emergency to assist evacuees, support first responders and protect critical infrastructure. When the smoke cleared, we immediately began repairing our electricity and natural gas infrastructure and restoring service for residents to return home.
In January 2017, the Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) – responsible for leading the coordination, collaboration and co-operation of all organizations involved in the prevention, preparedness and response to disasters and emergencies – recognized our response efforts with an Emergency Management Achievement Award in the category of “Responding to a Significant Event”. The annual award is a celebration of exemplary achievement in Emergency Management that recognizes individuals and groups that have made remarkable contributions toward building a better prepared and more disaster resilient province.
Accepting the award on our behalf was (from Left to Right):
Ross Sturgeon, General Manager, Business Development, Sustainable Communities
Carolyn Best, General Manager, Business Development, Structures & Logistics
Chance Herring, Senior Manager, North District Operations, Gas Distribution
Ryan Germaine, Vice President, Distribution Operations, Gas Distribution
Mike Shaw, Vice President, Calgary Region, Gas Distribution
Matt Sveinbjornson, Manager, Distribution Planning, Electricity
Brent Kobelka, Director, District Operations, Electricity
The impressive efforts of our brave women and men stand as a shining example of our commitment to the communities we serve and are a reminder of what we can accomplish when we work together as One ATCO. From the essential electricity and natural gas services we restored, to the meals, lodging and volunteers we provided – we stood tall during the emergency and our hard work has been recognized by community leaders, politicians and organizations across North America. The AEMA award follows similar recognition we received from the Edison Institute earlier this year for our Fort McMurray response.