A mock emergency exercise is being conducted at the Shell on the corner of 32 Ave and North Railway today.

Okotoks Fire services, Municipal Enforcement, RCMP and EPCOR and Shell Canada Ltd. are all in attendance to practice an emergency response if a spill were to happen at the service station.

John Smith, External Relations Advisor for Shell Downstream Business, explains the emergency scenario.

"We're simulating a mock spill, the driver will have a mock medical emergency, our retailers will call 911 and initiate the emergency response procedures on their end," he says. "They will first place the 911 call to activate the town's emergency response, and then he will activate our internal emergency response plan. They have plans, and numbers they need to call, as well as people they need to make aware an incident has happened. This exercise will test both Shell's response capabilities, and the town's response capabilities."

Smith shares Shell regularly runs emergency drills with communities and first responders, as it helps tailor response plans for the communities they operate in.

He adds Shell also tries its best to ensure the scenarios have extreme and unusual circumstances.

"While we have a lot of plans in place, the only way to know if they're working and if they suit the needs of the community is to test them. To actively partner with the town is great in situations like this, because it lets us ensure the safety of the community and customers, but at the same time test and prepare for these extreme, unlikely scenarios."

As part of the exercise, residents may notice some blue coloured dye in surrounding waterways, this is because the Fire Department and EPCOR are tracking where the mock gasoline spill would travel to.

Shell would like to thank the community of Okotoks, and local emergency services for their participation in the exercise.

The exercise is expected to wrap up in the early afternoon.

Questions, comments, or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]

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