Supporting Communities with Our Essential Services
Throughout this time of uncertainty, our people are working hard to ensure that we continue to support our customers and the communities that depend on our essential services. In Alberta, we're participating in the Provincial Operations Centre (POC), a group of more than 200 government and industry leaders from across the province. The POC is activated whenever there is a significant emergency event, such as the Fort McMurray wildfires, the High River Floods, or in this case, the COVID-19 pandemic.
In past emergency situations, the POC participants would gather in person to collaborate on issues of importance to the province. Now, in order to respect social distancing considerations, for the first time the province has set up a virtual POC, with two daily conference calls to provide an update on the pandemic in Alberta. ATCO's liaisons participate in these calls to remain up-to-date on what is going on around the province, while also providing information about what ATCO is doing to support our communities. For example, the discussions could be around sourcing a supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), or keeping abreast of community checkpoints that may be implemented to ensure that we have the access to communities in order to provide our essential services.
“The thing that amazes me the most is the respect and trust that the Government of Alberta and the Provincial Operations Centre have for ATCO, thanks to our long history of providing safe and excellent responses to emergencies in Alberta,” said Matt Sveinbjornson, Director, Key Accounts, and one of ATCO's liaison's in the POC.
At the community level, we also support the Emergency Operations Centres (EOC), which can be initiated by a municipality or Indigenous community. More than 80 of the communities that we serve in Alberta have opened up an EOC. Each time an EOC is activated, one of our ATCO team members gets in touch with them to let them know about the utility services that ATCO provides, and assures them that we are here to help in whatever way that we can. All together, we have more than three dozen utility team members liaising with these communities. We'd like to give a big thank you to these women and men who are working hard to ensure that our relationships with the communities where we live and work remain as strong as ever during these turbulent times.