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Halton Region and City of Burlington practise high-rise evacuation with emergency exercise

Nov 26, 2019
A photo of Halton Region Paramedic Services Operations Superintendent.
Halton Region Paramedic Services Operations Superintendent Michael Mitchell plans next steps.
Photo of Halton Region Paramedic Services Deputy Chief.
Halton Region Paramedic Services Deputy Chief Tom Stirling reviews an Incident Action Plan.
Photo of Canadian Red Cross cots with teddy bears and blankets.
Canadian Red Cross cots fill the lodging area at the Emergency Evacuation Centre (Haber Community Centre).
Photo of Halton Region Children Services Supervisor and Canadian Red Cross volunteers.
Halton Region Children Services Supervisor, Stephanie Houghton, acting as the Haber Evacuation Centre Commander, briefs Canadian Red Cross volunteers.

Halton Region and City of Burlington practise high-rise evacuation with emergency exercise

Nov 26, 2019

On November 22, Halton Region staged an exercise with the City of Burlington to assess the Region’s plans for emergency evacuations. The scenario focused on a fictional fire in a Burlington high-rise building, which required residents to leave their units and take shelter at the Regions’ Emergency Evacuation Centre located at Haber Community Centre (external link).

“This exercise was another step forward in our ongoing work to help protect individuals and families during emergencies,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “Testing our response allows us to improve the way we deliver essential services and supports to residents. Our strong partnership with the Local Municipalities, first responders and community organizations ensures we are ready for emergencies in Halton.”

The exercise, “High-rise to Haber”, tested specific response processes, including how the Region and City would communicate with residents, partners and staff at the evacuation centre. Participants assessed their joint response to identify strengths, challenges and areas for improvement.

The following participants supported the emergency exercise:

  • City of Burlington Recreation Services Department
  • Canadian Red Cross
  • St. John’s Ambulance Burlington
  • The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
  • Halton Region Paramedic Services
  • Halton Regional Police Service

In addition to exercise “High-rise to Haber”, which was the largest scenario planned for 2019, the Region also participated in 12 smaller exercises and drills earlier this year. Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility that involves residents, businesses, all levels of government and the community. To learn how you can be prepared, please visit

The Regional Municipality of Halton serves more than 580,000 residents in the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton, and the Town of Oakville. Halton Region is committed to meeting the needs of its residents through the delivery of cost-effective, quality programs and services, including water and wastewater; Regional roads and planning; paramedic services; waste management; public health; social assistance; children’s and seniors’ services; housing services; heritage programs; emergency management and economic development. For more information, call 311 or visit Halton Region’s website at

Media Contact:
Holly  Einboden
Communications Specialist
Communications & Customer Service
905-825-6000, ext.7930