Tag Archives: Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia | Fifteen paramedics recognized for exemplary service

Fifteen Nova Scotia paramedics were awarded the Exemplary Services Medal today, Friday, Nov. 7, for their hard work helping Nova Scotians when they are most in need.

Each of the recipients has dedicated his or her career to providing high-quality emergency care, sometimes at great personal risk.

Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant presented the medals during a ceremony at Government House in Halifax.

“Paramedics are the quiet heroes among us who care for our citizens in their most vulnerable moments,” said Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant. “Today’s investiture symbolizes the Crown’s recognition of paramedics’ devoted service to our communities and provides an opportunity to publicly express our gratitude for their selfless actions.”

Medal recipients are:
— Greg Bayers, Dayspring, Lunenburg Co.
— John Campbell, Parrsboro
— Carlis Coulter, Tatamagouche, Colchester Co.
— James Currie, Shelburne, Shelburne Co.
— Gerald Dunlop, Baddeck
— Allan Keddy, Blockhouse, Lunenburg Co.
— Brian MacDonald, Margaree Centre, Cape Breton
— Travis MacNeil, Little Bras D’or, Cape Breton
— Lorna Mastin, Middleton
— Carla Middleburg, Baie Verte, New Brunswick
— Bill Muirhead, Stellarton
— Mike Newman, Nappan, Cumberland Co.
— Gordon Parker, Truro
— Brian Thibideau, Saulnierville, Digby Co.
— Dale Traer, Waverley

“Paramedics are an amazing group of people who, day after day, rush into unknown situations. They put themselves at risk to help save lives,” said Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine. “I want to thank our recipients today, and all paramedics across our province, for your professionalism and your willingness to offer excellent care when and where Nova Scotians need it.”

The Emergency Health Services Exemplary Service Medal was created in 1994. It is part of a national recognition program for people who work in high-risk jobs that enhance Canada’s public safety.

In addition to paramedics, police, firefighters, corrections officers, coast guard members and peace officers are also eligible for exemplary service medals.

Paramedics must be nominated by their peers or the public. Recipients must have demonstrated exemplary service in their careers for at least 20 years, including 10 years in an emergency medical services position that involves potential risk.

Nova Scotia’s Emergency Health Services system and its paramedics are known, around the world, as leaders in quality patient care and innovation. Representatives from the Netherlands, to Malaysia, and areas across North America, have come to the province to learn about successes here.

For more information on the awards, visit www.gg.ca

Nova Scotia | New fire safety program targets youth

A unique initiative launched in Nova Scotia today, Oct. 1, will encourage youth to become leaders in fire safety.

The Nova Scotia Office of the Fire Marshal is participating in a national initiative that provides teachers across the country with lesson plans on fire safety, and encourages every household to test and replace their smoke alarms during Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 5-11.

“We’re thrilled to have the participation of our fire departments in this national program of the Council of Canadian Fire Marshals and Fire Commissioners,” said Harold Pothier, Nova Scotia’s Fire Marshal. “Fire departments and school teachers in our communities have long had a unique partnership in teaching children about fire safety that can leave a lasting impression on students and prevent tragedies years down the road.”

The initiative is expected to reach up to 100,000 students across Canada during Fire Prevention Week. This year’s theme is Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month! It will be supported by local fire departments and the campaign’s website www.safeathome.ca .

“Fire is very unpredictable and can travel a lot faster than most people think,” said Municipal Affairs Minister Mark Furey. “This initiative is a great way to educate our youth on the importance of fire safety and, through them, educate their parents as students will take this information into their homes.”

“The potential benefits of a successful national outreach are enormous,” said Duane McKay, president of the national council. “In more than half of fatal fires, investigators find no working smoke alarms. Fire safety programs that focus on youth deliver the fire safety fundamentals they need to know to escape a burning home, while motivating parents to test and maintain their smoke alarms.”

Parents should watch for Test and Replace homework pages, which include a home fire escape planning sheet and a safety checklist. Once completed, parents and youth can register their home at www.safeathome.ca/testandreplace and download a certificate of completion for students to take back to class.

Smoke alarms are required on every storey of homes and outside all sleeping areas. Smoke alarms should be tested monthly and batteries should be replaced at least once a year. If it is more than 10 years old, even if the alarm sounds when the test button is pushed, it should be replaced as cooking and dust can deteriorate the sensor over time.

More details on the initiative can be found at www.safeathome.ca/testandreplace .

During Fire Prevention Week in Nova Scotia, Mr. Furey, the Office of the Fire Marshal, first responders and other partners will hold a live twitter chat on fire safety Tuesday, Oct. 7, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. To join the conversation, use the hashtag #nsfiresafety.

BC | Out-of-province firefighters responding to assist with wildfires

An increase in fire activity around the province has prompted the Wildfire Management Branch to request the help of 200 additional fire suppression personnel from out-of-province.

On Saturday, July 19, 40 sustained action firefighters from Quebec, plus 20 from Nova Scotia and 20 from New Brunswick, will arrive in B.C. Ontario is supplying 120 more crew members who will arrive on Sunday, July 20. All personnel will be flown into Prince George and will be deployed throughout the province based on current and anticipated fire activity.

These resources join more than 1,500 provincial staff, nearly 800 B.C. contractors and 94 out-of-province personnel already engaged in fire response efforts.

Despite a temporary respite in temperatures in northern B.C., continued hot and dry conditions combined with provincewide wind gusts are expected throughout the weekend. The fire danger rating for the province is primarily “high” to “extreme”.

Campfire prohibitions are in effect in many areas of the Wildfire Management Branch’s jurisdiction.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca

You can also follow the latest wildfire news on:

NS | Nova Scotians asked to check on neighbours in the wake of Arthur

Nova Scotians are being asked to check on their neighbours and elderly people in the areas hardest hit by post-tropical storm Arthur to see if they need any help.

Power outages are now in the third day and some Nova Scotians may not have power restored until Wednesday or later and are dealing with medical equipment issues, loss of battery power, lack of water, and spoiled food.

Nova Scotia Power crews are working to restore power, concentrated in mostly the western and central regions of the province.

Call 1-877-428-6004 to receive information on estimated restoration time in your area.

Comfort stations have been set up in some areas to help people. For a list of the centres go to, http://novascotia.ca/news/docs/2014/07/ComfortCentres.pdf .

NS | All provincial parks to close in preparation for Arthur

All provincial parks in Nova Scotia, including camping, beach parks, day-use parks and the Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park, will be closed to the public because of severe weather conditions expected from Tropical Storm Arthur.

All provincial camping parks and beach parks will be closed at 5 p.m. today, July 4. On Sunday, all parks will be re-evaluated for damage and safety concerns on a case-by-case basis before a decision is made to reopen.

The day-use parks will close at dusk tonight and may reopen some time on Sunday based on storm damage assessment.

The provincial wildlife park will be closed Saturday, but will reopen Sunday at 9 a.m. as usual.

“We take public safety very seriously especially when the forecast calls for high winds and storm surge from the expected storm,” said Natural Resources Minister Zach Churchill.

Full refunds will be given for camping park cancellations because of Tropical Storm Arthur. All campers with reservations will be contacted by the park reservation agency to arrange refunds. Campers may consider rebooking a campsite for another day.

Public notice of park reopenings will be provided online at www.novascotiaparks.ca, via Twitter @DNRNovaScotia, and through media updates.

The Emergency Management Office is working with the Canadian Hurricane Centre, Environment Canada and other partners on the storm, gathering potential municipal impacts, identifying local risk areas and conducting information sessions with provincial and municipal emergency management officers and co-ordinators.

Strong high winds and heavy rainfall are a possibility. Check local broadcast networks for updates.

It is important to prepare emergency kits that include enough supplies for 72 hours. Information on emergency preparedness can be found at www.novascotia.ca/EMO .

NS | Hurricane preparedness guidance

The Emergency Management Office (EMO) is reminding Nova Scotians to take steps to help minimize risk of property and personal damage from a hurricane or tropical storm.

Strong winds, heavy rains and storm and power surges can cause significant damage. All Nova Scotians are asked to prepare in advance and monitor local weather forecasts this weekend.

The basic checklist includes:
— enough food and water for 72 hours
— monitoring local broadcast networks for updates
— securing gates, doors and windows
— moving yard furniture and securing trash cans, hanging plants and anything that can be picked up by wind
— checking radio batteries
— filling vehicles with gas and parking them away from trees
— removing dead or diseased branches from trees to make them more wind resistant
— keeping pets inside
— moving any type of watercraft to high ground

EMO is working with Environment Canada and partners on the approaching storm, gathering municipal information, identifying possible local risk areas and conducting information sessions with provincial and municipal emergency management officers and co-ordinators.

More storm tips can be found at http://novascotia.ca/just/EMO/prepare_for_an_emergency/risks/hurricanes.asp .

Nova Scotia | Warm temps may cause algae blooms

Warmer weather means Nova Scotians should watch for blue-green algae blooms in lakes and rivers.

“While the risk to health is fairly low, people should avoid contact with algae blooms and the water where they occur until the bloom has dissipated,” said Gary O’Toole, director of environmental health. “If you come in contact with a bloom and develop symptoms that persist for a few days, you should consult a physician.”

Also known as pond scum, the algae can be spotted by its blueish green, grassy or soupy appearance and sometimes, gives off a distinct odour. It can naturally form on any lake or river in the right conditions. Many types of blue-green algae are harmless, but some can produce toxins that pose a health risk to people and animals.

People should not swim in, drink from, or eat fish from water sources where blue-green algae is present. Water contaminated by the algae should not be used to prepare or cook food, and boiling the water will not eliminate the toxins.

If water containing the algae is swallowed, symptoms may include stomach ache, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. Direct contact with skin from swimming may cause skin, nose, throat or eye irritations.

Nova Scotians who suspect they see an algae bloom can call and report it to their local Department of Environment office.

For more information, visit the departments of Environment and Health and Wellness websites at www.novascotia.ca/nse/water/docs/BlueGreenAlgae.pdf and www.novascotia.ca/hpp/environmental/ .

Nova Scotia | Seniors should be cautious with personal alert system vendors

Government is asking seniors to exercise caution if approached at home by private companies selling personal alert systems.

There are reports that a Freedom Home Living Solutions representative has been selling personal alert systems at seniors’ homes. The representative claims the company is contracted by the Department of Health and Wellness, and does not deliver the equipment after purchase.

The department does not have contracts with any personal alert system vendors.

The Better Business Bureau’s website has an alert about Freedom Home Living Solutions at www.bbb.org/maritime-provinces/business-reviews/medical-alarms/freedom-home-living-solutions-in-bedford-ns-33955 . The business does not have a permit to operate in Nova Scotia under the Direct Sellers Act. Tom Fennessey, owner and sole partner of the business, was associated with the Seniors Connect and JTF Alarms companies.

For information on consumer protection, visit http://novascotia.ca/snsmr/access/individuals/consumer-awareness.asp .

Nova Scotians who are approached by vendors and have concerns about legitimate business practices are encouraged to contact the Better Business Bureau or police.

Nova Scotia | Public consultation for sexual violence strategy begins

Nova Scotians are invited to provide input to shape the province’s first Sexual Violence Strategy.

The government would like to hear from all Nova Scotians who have been impacted by sexual violence or want to make a positive change. This includes victims, survivors, family members of victims and survivors, educators, employers, health-care professionals, advocates, community members and concerned citizens.

The online feedback form is available at http://novascotia.ca/coms/svs/your-feedback/ . The form can be completed online and submitted electronically, or can be printed and returned by mail. Feedback is anonymous and can be provided until July 18.

“While we have been meeting with service providers from across the province, we want to provide an opportunity to hear from all Nova Scotians on how to chart the course of action to address sexual violence in our province,” said Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard. “This issue impacts the lives of so many Nova Scotians, and each one of us has a role to play in changing a culture that enables sexual assault and sexual violence.

“Because we know that sexual violence is significantly under-reported to authorities, we want to hear from as many people as possible.”

Nova Scotians who want information or updates on the development of the strategy can access a new website, http://novascotia.ca/sexualviolencestrategy/ , which launched today, June 4.

“I know Nova Scotians appreciate the opportunity to have their voices be heard on this important issue,” said Margaret Mauger, executive director and counselling therapist at the Colchester Sexual Assault Centre. “Sexual violence is a complex issue that affects everyone and everyone deserves a chance to contribute to the conversation as to how the strategy will evolve and move forward.

“With diverse public input the strategy will have an inclusive foundation to better meet the needs of all people affected by sexual violence.”

The three-year provincial strategy, which will receive $2 million in funding per year, will focus on sexual violence prevention and improving services for victims.

NS | Know the risks – Prepare today for an emergency

It is not a matter of if a disaster will happen. It is a matter of when. Emergency situations often strike with little or no notice, and we need to be prepared.

The government is reminding Nova Scotians that it is everyone’s responsibility to know the risks, to plan ahead and prepare for potential emergencies during National Emergency Preparedness Week, from Sunday, May 4 to Saturday, May 10.

“Emergency preparedness begins at home,” said Mark Furey, Minister responsible for the Emergency Management Office. “Each of us can reduce the potential risks we face by better understanding what could happen and learning how to better prepare ourselves, our family, our property, and our community.”

Knowing the risks is critical to a person’s ability to be prepared for at least the first 72 hours of an emergency. The Emergency Management Office offers the following tips on how to prepare:
— prepare a home emergency kit
— prepare an emergency kit for your car
— select a common meeting place for the family
— list emergency phone numbers and addresses by the phone
— teach your children how and when to call 911
— plan for your pets

“Emergency planners spend a lot of time planning, preparing and practicing response,” said Heather MacKenzie-Carey, regional emergency management co-ordinator. “Knowing what to do in an emergency saves valuable time and resources, and possibly lives.”

“I strongly encourage Nova Scotians to take some time now to get ready and protect yourself and your family,” said Mr. Furey.

For more information on emergency preparedness, visit http://novascotia.ca/just/EMO/prepare_for_an_emergency/