Emergency Response Plan


Category: Emergency Management
Subject: Emergency Response Plan
Division: N/A
Policy Number: CA.57.01.100
Effective Date: February 24, 2012


Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) shall establish and maintain a comprehensive emergency management program for the purpose of preparing for, and responding to, any community health emergency or an emergency with health impacts, as well as to internal emergencies that may impact the ability of agency to carry out its regular business.

A key component of this program is the Emergency Response Plan.  This plan is based on:

  • A detailed community-based Hazard and Risk Assessment;
  • A response framework consistent with Incident Management System (IMS);
  • The requirements of the Ontario Public Health Standards and protocols; and
  • The requirements of the Health Protection and Promotion Act


This policy applies to all employees, Board of Health members, students, contractors and volunteers.


In accordance with the OPHS Emergency Preparedness Protocol and Guide to Developing Public Health Emergency Response Plans, the Emergency Response Plan shall contain the following minimum requirements:

  • Detailed preface including title page, revision history, record of plan distribution, table of contents, glossary of terms and list of acronyms;
  • Background including aim, authority and relationship to other plans;
  • Activation and termination procedures;
  • Emergency notification procedures for both during and after business hours;
  • Description of IMS roles and responsibilities, including command and functional leads;
  • Emergency Operations Centre details; 
  • ​Mutual aid arrangements with neighbouring jurisdictions;
  • ​Crisis communications plan;
  • Occupational Health and Safety processes;
  • Support mechanisms for Board of Health staff; and
  • Ongoing plan development processes for plan maintenance, training, and exercises.

The Emergency Response Plan and its appendices are maintained by the Emergency Planner in consultation with agency staff and community stakeholders.  An electronic copy of the plan is to be maintained on the Agency intranet.  Hard copies of the plans are to be maintained in the offices of the Medical Officer of Health, the Director of Health Protection, the Director of Finance and Corporate Services, and the Emergency Planner.


Director, Finance and Corporate Services will:
  • Ensure that WDGPH has an Emergency Response Plan; and
  • Ensure that the Plan contains the minimum requirements in compliance with the OPHS Emergency Preparedness Protocol.
Manager, Emergency Preparedness will:
  • Ensure that WDGPH meets the requirements of the OPHS Emergency Preparedness Protocol;
  • Ensure that the Board of Health, senior management and all employees receive adequate orientation and information on the implementation of the Emergency Response Plan, once a year at a minimum;
  • Ensure that the Emergency Response Plan and its appendices are maintained in consultation with assigned WDGPH employees and community stakeholders;
  • Ensure an electronic copy of the Plan is available to all employees on the WDGPH intranet; and
  • Ensure that hard copies of the Emergency Response Plan are maintained in the offices of the Medical Officer of Health, the Director, Health Protection, the Director, Finance and Corporate Services and the Manager, Emergency Preparedness.
Employees will:
  • Be expected to cooperate fully with the Manager, Emergency Preparedness, and provide requested information and assistance as soon as it is practicable. 


Community emergency:  A situation or impeding situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property and that is caused by the forces of nature, a disease or health risk, an accident or act whether intentional or otherwise. (Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O.1990, c.E.9, s.1.)

Internal emergency: An incident such as a fire, power failure, or bomb threat, that occurs within the agency and affects staff safety and well-being, agency resources, and impacts in whole or in part the ability of the agency to carry out its regular services.  


Corresponding Procedure:  N/A
Ontario Public Health Standards and Protocols
OPHS Guide to Developing Public Health Emergency Response Plans
Health Protection and Promotion Act
Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O.  1990, c.E.9


Carole Desmeules