First responders from across the Northwest will be in Dryden this week for the 2023 Northwest Response Forum.
The theme for this year’s event according to organizer Sharon Bak is about building resilient communities which she says has never been more relevant than now.
“From COVID to one of the largest forest fire seasons that the Northwest has ever had, and working really hard to bring people together to learn and grow and build their community resiliency in terms of emergency management.”
The forum takes place every two years but was placed on hiatus due to the pandemic, but now its back to give first responders the ability to gather and trade knowledge and experience.
Bak says while the event isn’t open to the public, the importance of the forum is high priority, as it offers opportunities too expensive for smaller municipalities to afford.
“We don’t have the opportunities to get to some of these major training and networking events that happen in other parts of the province or Canada, due to cost, due to travel, and we also have a really homegrown amount of talent in Northwestern Ontario.”
Topics of discussion at the forum include leading post-disaster recoveries, Modern leadership and mental health, and the use of drones in emergency operations.
The 2023 Northwest Response Forum will wrap up on Thursday following a panel on lessons learned from the 2022 flood season.