Mercer Celgar’s Emergency Response Team – the 2023 Annual General Meeting

Emergencies are events that pose a significant threat to safety and require an immediate response. High-risk workplaces, including manufacturing facilities such as Mercer’s Celgar mill, need to be prepared if something unexpected happens — because emergency response is essential in aiding and saving people during crisis situations. The emergency responders that take part in these events play an important role by providing assistance to those who have been affected by the crisis, managing the situation, and coordinating with other agencies involved in the rescue effort.

Mercer Celgar’s latest inception of our Emergency Response Team (ERT) is led by Mark Smith, Safety and Emergency Response Coordinator. Mark has a relentless passion for safety, specifically emergency response tactics and techniques, and he takes his responsibilities to coordinate and ensure our ERT is as prepared as possible incredibly seriously.

Our team of Emergency Responders is made up of members who come to the team from all different areas of our operation and bring with them a diverse set of knowledge and skills. However, they all have one thing in common — a commitment to safeguarding the health and safety of their coworkers, family and friends.

Each month our ERT members get together for a series of training sessions to learn and practice rescue scenarios that have the potential to occur in our workplace. While the hope is to never have to deploy the ERT, we know that we must be prepared so that if an emergency occurs in the workplace we can respond as quickly as possible and do everything in our power to protect our colleagues.

On February 2, 2023, our ERT held its first-ever Annual General Meeting (AGM). The meeting turnout was impressive, with roughly 30 members in attendance — the first time these many members were together in the same room at the same time.

Part of the focus of the AGM was to review statistics for membership and recruitment, incidents, and training statistics, as well as take a look at what’s planned for 2023. Since it was our first time bringing together a group of this magnitude to cover such broad areas, the team reviewed the last five years of operation.

The team also conducted a simple SWOT analysis for the purpose of identifying the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of the group. There were some great discussions around improvement opportunities and plenty of suggestions on ways to strengthen the team.

This practice will not only help open lines of communication between team members and enhance team cohesiveness, but it will further corroborate emergency preparedness within our organization. The ERT members are looking forward to getting together for this AGM again in 2024!