Tag Archives: Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia | Nova Scotians asked to reach out to neighbours in need after severe winter weather

Nova Scotians are reminded to check in on their neighbours, especially those who are elderly or with disabilities, following the severe winter storm.

“Most of the province was impacted by this winter storm causing road closures and power outages,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “All our key partners are working together including Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, Nova Scotia Power Inc. and police services to help restore power and to re-open roads.

I want to add a special thank you to first responders and crews from Nova Scotia Power and Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal who have been working diligently around the clock to help ensure Nova Scotians are safe.”

The province received a mixed bag of weather with more than 60 cm of snow along with strong winds gusting up to 120 km per hour, rain, freezing rain and frigid temperatures. The severe weather caused some road closures and power outages in various parts of the province.

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal will focus on getting 100-series highways, as well as main trunks and routes, opened and passable for traffic. It may be several days before local and gravel roads are plowed.

“The safety of Nova Scotians is our most important priority,” said Premier McNeil. “I encourage everyone to reach out to their loved ones and neighbours to help ensure that they are safe.”

The province is providing emergency support to first responders, including Emergency Health Services. Nova Scotians are asked to call 911 if a plow is needed to clear roads for emergency vehicles.

Anyone experiencing an emergency should call 911. For non-emergency health advice call 811 to get trusted information from a registered nurse.

Nova Scotians who have or are still experiencing power outages can call 1-877-252-3663 with any questions regarding their food supply.

For road conditions, go to http://novascotia.ca/tran/winter/.

Nova Scotia | Acadia U student recovering from meningitis in hospital

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Strang confirmed today, Feb. 11, that an Acadia University student is in hospital recovering from meningococcal meningitis.

This is the second case of an Acadia student contracting the disease. The strain is not yet known. The first patient passed away Feb. 1 from the B strain of the disease.

“I understand the heightened level of concern, and we are working with Acadia University and local public health officials to provide information to the university community, including students, parents, staff and faculty,” said Dr. Strang.

“Two confirmed cases in one population is unusual. If it is the B strain, we will begin a targeted vaccination program starting next week.”

The latest case is a female student who lives alone off campus, and does not have close contacts who would be at greater risk of contracting the disease. There was no known contact between her and the first student to contract meningitis.

The lab confirmed Tuesday night the case is meningococcal meningitis. Confirmation of the strain may take a few days. Local public health staff are already on campus to help the university prepare for a potential vaccination program and support student health services staff.

“It’s important to remember that even with this latest diagnosis, the risk of getting the disease remains low in the general public,” said Dr. Strang. “There is no need to cancel classes or limit the movement of Acadia students and staff. Basic precautions can help prevent spreading the disease.”

Steps to prevent the spread of meningitis include:
— not sharing drinks, water bottles, eating utensils, lip balm or toothbrushes
— reducing direct contact with nose and mouth discharges
— washing hands, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if washing isn’t possible

Anyone with severe symptoms should go to an emergency department or call 911. If unsure, call 811 for advice. Symptoms include:

— fever
— headache
— change in the level of alertness and/or altered mental state
— stiff neck
— rash
— nausea
— vomiting
— increased sensitivity to light

More information is available at http://novascotia.ca/dhw .

Nova Scotia | Medal of Bravery nominations now open

Nova Scotians have a chance to honour those who have put themselves at risk to help others.

Nominations are open for Nova Scotia’s Medal of Bravery. This is the eighth year for the award.

“This award is our way of thanking Nova Scotians who have gone above and beyond, in order to help those in need,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “It’s a privilege to recognize these courageous individuals. If you know someone who deserves this honour, I encourage you to take the time to nominate them.”

Nomination forms are available at Access Nova Scotia centres, offices of members of the legislative assembly and at www.novascotia.ca/bravery . The deadline for nominations is May 1.

Only acts of bravery that occurred on or after Jan. 1, 2007, will be considered under the Nova Scotia Medal of Bravery Act.

An advisory panel, chaired by retired brigadier-general Remi Saulnier, will select the recipients.

Other committee members are:
— CEO of the Emergency Management Office
— deputy minister of Justice
— Nova Scotia Fire Marshal
— president of the Nova Scotia Chiefs of Police Association
— commander of Land Force Atlantic Area
— Cynthia Stevenson, member at large
— Jim Hoskins, member at large

Completed nomination forms should be sent to: Provincial Secretary, Medal of Bravery, Department of Justice, 7th floor, 1690 Hollis St., Halifax, N.S., B3J 2L6.

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/ .