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Emergency Management Program

The Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990,c.E.9 and its associated regulations and standards, requires the implementation of a mandatory emergency management program by all Ontario municipalities. The emergency management program shall consist of the following:

  • designation of a community emergency management coordinator (CEMC);
  • formation of a community emergency management program committee;
  • publication of an approved community emergency plan;
  • development of an appropriate community emergency operations centre;
  • development of an appropriate community emergency response capability;
  • conduct annual training and exercises for the emergency operations control group, employees of the municipality and other persons with respect to the provision of necessary services and the procedures to be followed in emergency response and recovery activities;
  • development and implementation of a public awareness program and education on risks to public safety and on public preparedness for emergencies;
  • identification of individuals to act as community emergency information staff;
  • conduct an annual review of the community emergency management program.


The mission of the City of Cornwall office of Emergency Management is to provide the highest level of emergency preparedness to the visitors and citizens of Cornwall. Our goal is to save lives, protect property and the environment through prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery actions.

  • Prevention  Actions taken to prevent an emergency or disaster.
  • Mitigation  Actions taken to reduce the effects of an emergency or disaster.
  • Preparedness   Actions taken prior to an emergency or disaster to ensure an effective response. These actions include the formulation of an emergency response plan, training, exercises and public awareness and education.
  • Response  Actions taken to respond to an emergency or disaster.
  • Recovery  Actions taken to recover from an emergency and to return the City of Cornwall or the affected area back to normal after a disaster. 

Community Control Group

The activation of the Cornwall Emergency Plan will result in the Community Control Group (CCG) convening in the Emergency Operations Centre. The Community Control Group functions as a senior management decision-making and coordinating body to assess the events as they occur and to decide on a unified course of action to overcome specific problems. The Community Control Group is responsible for maintaining operations throughout the community, and to function as a support centre for the Site Manager by arranging to provide resources and expertise as requested. The City of Cornwall Community Control Group consists of the following group of officials:

  • Mayor
  • Chief Administration Officer
  • Chief of Cornwall Community Police Services
  • Chief of Cornwall Fire Services
  • Chief of Cornwall SDG Paramedic Services
  • City Clerk
  • Communications Officer (Amateur Radio Emergency Service)
  • Community Care Access Centre Director
  • Community Emergency Management Coordinator
  • Emergency Information Coordinator
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Medical Officer of Health
  • Public Works/Transit Manager
  • Site Information Officer
  • Social Services Manager
  • Treasurer

All emergency operations will be directed and controlled by this group of officials responsible for providing the essential services needed to minimize the effects of the emergency on the municipality. While in the Emergency Operations Centre, members of the CCG gather at regular intervals to inform each other of actions taken and problems encountered (Operating Cycle). The Chief Administrative Officer chairs the CCG group and establishes the frequency of meetings and agenda items. City staff members and representatives of other supporting organizations may be added to or deleted from the membership of the Community Control Group in accordance with the nature of the emergency. For further details of Community Control Group  responsibilities please refer to the Cornwall Emergency Plan. 

Emergency Management Committee

The goal of the Emergency Management Committee is to act as an advisory committee to the office of Emergency Management of the City of Cornwall guiding the development, implementation, and maintenance of the community's emergency management program. The meetings of the committee are usually held in January, April, September and November. The formation of such a committee is a key organizational step toward making the emergency management process work at the local level. The Cornwall Emergency Management Committee is chaired by the Emergency Management Coordinator and is composed of representation from the following first responders and support agencies:

  • Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES)
  • Canadian Red Cross
  • Clerk's Department
  • Community Care Access
  • Cornwall Community Hospital
  • Cornwall Electric
  • Cornwall Fire Services
  • Cornwall Human Resources
  • Cornwall Municipal Works& Services
  • Cornwall Police Services
  • Cornwall SDG Paramedic Services
  • Cornwall Social Services
  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit
  • Elected Official
  • Emergency Management Ontario
  • Housing
  • Industries
  • Ontario Power Generation
  • School Boards
  • St John Ambulance
  • Transit
  • Union Gas
  • Others

Emergency Operations Centre

The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is the designated location where the Community Control Group convene to manage the emergency. The EOC is essential to the process of providing centralized direction and coordination of emergency response and recovery operations. The EOC is outfitted with a generator, individual secure telephone lines, radios, emergency directories, flip charts, maps and all other necessary stationary supplies. In the event that the EOC is unusable, there are two alternate Emergency Operations Centres.

Public Awareness/Education  Program

The City of Cornwall has an active Emergency Management Public Awareness/Education Program directed at raising citizens' awareness about the importance of preparing before an emergency and knowing what to do during and after an incident. This program raises citizens' awareness about community emergency management activities, such as the existence of a current and annually exercised emergency response plan. This risk based program provides focused information to target audiences in order to share how to reduce one's risks of injury, death, property loss, or environmental damage, in the event of a specific emergency situation. Some methods for communicating emergency public awareness messages are:

  • brochures, kits and flyers
  • information posted on the Internet
  • public announcements by print, radio or television
  • advertising: bulletin boards, outdoor posters
  • speaking engagements : delivery of lectures to community groups, agencies, schools ..,
  • public events: setting up of displays at festivals, shows ..,
  • exercises: simulated emergency exercises / training courses
  • feature articles: newspapers, periodicals, journals

Emergency Training/Mock Exercises

The City of Cornwall has yearly training and mock exercises to evaluate our Emergency Response Plan. Our objective is to train our personnel, educate the public, test facilities and equipment and strengthen cooperation between first responders, municipal departments and city stakeholders . An evaluation by means of training and exercises is an integral part of our emergency response plan which we take seriously. It is designed to evaluate emergency processes that work and identify those needing improvement. Our yearly training is selected depending on its purpose, the level of training, our risks and the human and material resources available. Some methods utilized in the City of Cornwall are as follows:

  • paper exercises: starts with an opening scenario, followed by a series of inputs that are given to the players on paper. The inputs are information, inquiries or requests that one would expect to receive in a real incident. Discussions pursue between the players on the decisions made, recommendations, possible response actions and communication procedures. The players' responses to exercise events are usually very similar to those in major exercises.
  • table-top exercises: similar to paper exercises but the players describe their response actions using props such as maps, models and equipment.
  • telecommunication exercises: uses radios and telephones to transmit information thus testing the telecommunications system.
  • notification exercises: The notification procedure of the Emergency Plan is activated thus testing the procedure and confirming the correct contact information is on record. Those notified may or may not be asked to assemble in the Emergency Operations Centre.

Mock exercise: involves the simulation of an emergency site including the deployment of first responders, specialty teams, vehicles, equipment and possible simulated casualties. Usually the Emergency Operations Centre is also activated and a communications link is established with the site. 

Hazard Identification and  Risk Assessment (HIRA)

The Cornwall Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) was first adopted in March 2010 and continues to be reviewed annually, with the latest revision having been completed in December 2015. A hazard is described as an event or physical condition that has the potential to cause fatalities, injuries, property damage, infrastructure damage, agricultural loss, damage to the environment, interruption of business, or other types of harm or loss (FEMA). This assessment was completed by first reviewing the 40 major hazards facing the province as per Emergency Management Ontario (EMO). EMO also supplied a definition and description of each hazard. From this list a historical review of hazardous occurrences in the City of Cornwall was completed. Further more expertise advice was researched concerning the possibility of some hazards occurring even though the historical occurrences were not recent. For example, although Cornwall has not had a major earthquake since September 5, 1944, seismologist research states that earthquakes remain a hazard in this area due to the fact we are on a fault line. In southern Canada, the slow movement of the North American plate southwestwards at a few centimetres per year creates sufficient stresses to cause earthquakes along faults or zones of weakness such as along the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Valleys and the Atlantic seaboard (Natural Hazards of Canada Map - OCIPEP). Once a comprehensive list of specific community hazards was created, the probability and potential consequence of each hazard was determined. Finally a community risk assessment grid was completed resulting in the prioritization of risks found in the City of Cornwall. The Cornwall Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) acts as the foundation for Cornwall's risk-based emergency management program.



 Likely Hazards

Civil Disorder Earthquakes/Tremors
Flooding Hazardous Materials - Transportation Incident
Human Health Emergencies & Epidemics Severe Weather
Transporation Emergencies  


Possible Hazards

Critical Infrastructure Failure Cyber Attack
Dam Failures Energy Emergencies
Explosions/Fires Extreme Heat/Cold
Fog Hazardous Materials - Fixed Site Incidents
Hurricanes Ice Storms
Lightning Storms Snowstorms
Space Object Crash Special Events
Terrorism Tornadoes
Fog Windstorms