The RCMP Office is located on the west end of Olds just off Highway 27 (46th Street). The primary responsibility for emergency preparedness and response lies with provincial government.
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Olds Town Hall is right on the east end of town as you enter Olds on Highway 27 from the Queen Elizabeth II Highway.

Municipal Emergency Management (Disaster Services)

Contact - Director of Protective Services

Emergency preparedness and response in Canada are shared responsibilities of individuals, corporations and governments, with the division of responsibility established by a wide range of legislation, regulations, bylaws, customs and practices. The division of responsibility among governments is founded in the Constitution Act of Canada. This act, among other things, defines the areas in which federal and provincial governments can enact legislation. The federal government has jurisdiction over defense, foreign affairs, criminal law, money and banking, trade, transportation, citizenship, public and environmental protection, and aboriginal affairs.

Provincial governments are responsible for education, health and welfare, civil law, natural resources and local government. The primary responsibility for emergency preparedness and response lies with provincial government.

Each and every Canadian is responsible for his/her own personal emergency preparedness. As a crisis extends beyond individual capabilities, it becomes the responsibility first of municipal government, then provincial, and finally in the most severe cases the federal government. Although no community is equipped to handle all the demands of a catastrophe, municipalities in Alberta are required, under the provincial Disaster Services Act, to appoint a Disaster Services Committee and to establish and maintain a Municipal Disaster Services Agency.

This information is contained in Town of Olds Bylaw 2007-31

The Town of Olds is a partner in the Mountain View Regional Emergency Response Plan, along with the municipalities of Didsbury, Carstairs, Cremona, Sundre and Mountain View County. The response plan is continually updated, and outlines specific municipal duties and functions in response to emergencies, including Emergency Operations personnel and the resources available in each municipality. The complete Emergency Response Plan is available for viewing at Town Office.

Canada's Emergency Preparedness Model includes how the Town of Olds handles Emergency Responses through Municipal, Provincial, and Federal Government Emergency Departments.

Emergency vs Disaster

The terms "emergency" and "disaster" are often used interchangeably, however there is a difference between the two, as defined in the Alberta Disaster Services Act:

  • Emergency means a present or imminent event that requires prompt coordination of actions or special regulation of persons or property to protect the health, safety or welfare of people, or to limit damage to property.
  • Disaster means an event that results in serious harm to the safety, health or welfare of people or in widespread damage to property.

"Disaster" is a description of an occurrence, while "Emergency" is a legal state of affairs. The conditions that a disaster threatens or causes may require the use of extraordinary powers through the declaration of a "State of Emergency".

During a disaster, municipal priorities are, in order of importance:

  1. Protect people.
  2. Protect the environment.
  3. Protect property.

Levels of Emergencies

Level 1 Emergency - This is an incident in which the municipality has the capability to manage and control the incident utilizing its own resources and expertise. Generally this is an emergency of SHORT DURATION (under 8 hours) and LOW IMPACT to the community. Examples would be the daily responses of the RCMP and Fire Department.

Level 2 Emergency - This is an incident that requires, in addition to normal emergency response, municipal support for coordination of the on-site operations. It may require assistance of mutual aid (from other municipalities). It is generally SHORT DURATION (under 8 hours) but has HIGH IMPACT to the municipality. A Level 2 Emergency may require the appointment of an Emergency Site Manager, support by agencies of the Disaster Services Agency, and a partial activation of an Emergency Operations Centre.

Level 3 Emergency - This is an incident that requires Level 2 emergency response with additional government support to coordinate activities. It is generally an incident of LONG DURATION (over 8 hours) and HIGH IMPACT to the community. At this level, full coordination may be required that will involve appointment of an Emergency Site Manager, response by external resources, and the activation of the Emergency Operations Centre.

State of Local Emergency

A State of Local Emergency may only be declared under certain specific conditions, and once declared, a specific chain of events is put into motion. A State of Local Emergency is the creation of a legal state of affairs of a temporary nature where extraordinary action may be taken to deal with the situation at hand.

  • The power to declare a State of Local Emergency is derived from the Disaster Services Act, and is made on declaration by Council Resolution.

The persons able to make such as a declaration are specified within the applicable municipal bylaw (e.g. Town of Olds Bylaw 2007-31), and is usually the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, or two members of Town Council.

A State of Local Emergency can be declared because:

  • there is inadequate legal authority.
  • there is need for extraordinary legal authority.

Once declared, there must be:

  • formal warning to the population.
  • notification to other governments.

A State of Local Emergency provides liability protection for officials and responders, and gives legal authority regarding:

  • activating Emergency Plans
  • acquiring real personal property
  • rite of entry into land and buildings
  • control of travel
  • restoration of essential services
  • price fixing for essential services

Preparing for an Emergency

During an emergency, your first responsibility is to yourself and your family. When disaster strikes, you may not be able to rely on normal services and infrastructure, which may be disrupted temporarily or on a large scale. You may have to look after yourself for an extended period of time.

Knowing what to do when (not "if") a disaster strikes will help you better control the situation and be in a better position to recover more quickly. No community is equipped to handle all the demands of a catastrophe - help your community by preparing and helping yourself.

Much of this information is contained in a free Government of Canada publication, "Be Prepared Not Scared", available from the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness. For additional publications, go to

4512 - 46 Street, Olds, Alberta, Canada, T4H 1R5 ... Phone: 403-556-6981 ... Fax: 403-556-6537 ... E-Mail: