CFB Esquimalt testing emergency system this week

A mass notification system was recently installed at the base and will undergo testing from Feb. 2 to 6.

  • Feb. 1, 2015 10:00 a.m.

It could get noisy at CFB Esquimalt next week.

A mass notification system was recently installed at the base and will undergo testing from Feb. 2 to 6.

CFB Esquimalt covers a large area and personnel work in a wide variety of locations including outdoors, in ships, vehicles and workshops.

The system will be invaluable during an emergency for communicating important information to employees, contractors and those visiting Department of National Defence facilities in the region.

Four different siren tones will be used during the tests: test tone (alternating tone); evacuation tone (low to high to low tone); shelter in place tone (repeated blast of single tone); and the all-clear tone (similar to Westminster chime).

The speakers, mounted on poles, are designed to survive an 8.0 magnitude earthquake. They are currently located in Dockyard, Naden and Work Point with the possibility of extending the system to West Shore properties such as Colwood, Albert Head and Rocky Point in the future.

The system can be programmed to provide a variety of warnings including hazardous material emergencies, environmental threats, tsunami evacuation and increases to our security posture.

Except for monthly tests, the system will only be activated if a real emergency has been determined by CFB Esquimalt’s operations staff. Tests will take place at 11 a.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. Public Service announcement reminders will be issued in advance of the  one-minute tests.

The tests begin at 8 a.m. Monday morning at Dockyard, Naden and Work Point. Testing ends each day at 4 p.m.