The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership into uncharted territory, as the organization says the 34days and counting activation is the longest in its history.

The previous record-holder was 33 days during the 2019 Chuckegg Creek Wildfires, in which the Grande Prairie region took in over 1000 evacuees from Northwestern Alberta.

“Previous responses have proven the success of the partnership, and although this emergency is different in many ways, the constant is the dedication of staff and calibre of work to keep our communities safe,” says GPREP Manager Jennifer Wood.

Wood adds the challenges faced in the current pandemic have also seen the way the organization operates change quickly and efficiently.

“Three weeks ago, we limited staff working on-site to a core group, and two weeks ago we transitioned the Emergency Coordination Centre to a virtual platform.”

For the fourth consecutive week, GPREP has also renewed the State of Local Emergency in the City of Grande Prairie, County of Grande Prairie, Towns of Beaverlodge, Sexsmith, and Wembley, and the Village of Hythe. The Alberta Emergency Management Act requires any state of local emergency to be reviewed, and if needed, renewed every seven days.