Looking past COVID to the
For the safety and security professionals, 2020 presented a new challenge. When COVD-19 hit, it impacted our country with unprecedented response efforts at all levels. Unlike traditional disasters, Health took the lead, and many of our healthcare providers, paramedic services and health emergency managers were put to the test. We witnessed planning, response, and even some ebb and flow recovery as case numbers fluctuated in each province throughout the year. Traditional healthcare plans, emergency responses and even emergency management strategies had to be quickly modified and adapted to the new threat.
It would seem that Mother Nature did not get the memo to stop working and isolate. Natural events kept coming, and responders continued to engage during and after hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes, floods and forest fires. Human-caused incidents also continued. We saw civil unrest, violence and domestic threats continue to impact communities, regardless of the pandemic.
Throughout these natural and human-caused incidents, Canada’s safety and security sector modified traditional emergency strategies in order to adapt to the new threat; they could not simply open traditional EOCs or Reception Centres during the pandemic.
We saw police, fire and paramedic services adapting to new operational requirements as they responded to calls for service. Also, as Nova Scotia fought against COVID-19 they were impacted by a Black Swan event; the worst mass murder in Canadian history. Looking for a killer who murdered 22 Nova Scotians, the manhunt lasted 13 hours.
Battling through more than 18-months to date, it became obvious that there was no way to “escape” the issues. Under normal circumstances, people could leave work and get away from the stresses put on them. However, with COVID-19, the stresses never took a back seat once back at home. There were no vacation opportunities, no external entertainment, no dining out, no nights with friends. But there was continued concern for their own family’s safety and wellness.
Many individuals were impacted directly by illness, or witnessed family and friends becoming sick. We were kept from socializing with others and even the simplest of tasks, such as grocery shopping, required a plan and PPE (personal protection equipment).
In the Spring/Summer edition of FrontLine Safety and Security, we have focused on non-pandemic articles. While COVID-19 has been a big a part of our collective work for over a year, we are cognizant that other day-to-day operational requirements need to continue and we have put together an edition to learn from. You will read informative articles on the current state of Investigative Interviews, Fatality Management, Gang Law Enforcement, Firearms Control, Crisis and Emergency Management, Security and Organizational Resilience, and the challenges of combatting Foreign-sponsored Disinformation. FrontLine is also excited to provide an inside look Canada’s latest state-of-the-art Operational Communications Centre; the RCMP H Division’s OCC in Halifax.
I cannot say enough how proud I am of our safety, security, heath care, first responders, emergency managers, military and frontline workers across the country and internationally. Thank you is not enough for their endless service throughout this very difficult year.
P.B. (Pascal) Rodier,
MStJ, MA, CEM, PCP, SAS
Executive Editor, FrontLine Safety & Security