EHS Operations Emergency Preparedness and Special Operations (EPSO) Specialist Program, led by Jay Walker (Manager, EPSO) was officially deployed throughout the province last January (2020). It has been an incredible first year for this dedicated group of highly skilled and trained specialists who, like all many of us, have been on the frontlines of COVID-19.
The focus of the EPSO Specialist Program is to better support and serve EHS paramedics and public safety partners by providing consistent and efficient deployment of EHS specialized resources.
EPSO team members are located in all regions of Nova Scotia and are trained in a number of emergency scenarios, including disaster preparedness, the use of specialized personal protective equipment (PPE), difficult extrications, Pinel restraints, mass casualty/gathering response as well as police emergency response support.
Many hours of intense training go into being an EPSO Specialist, including a physical fitness test, which is completed annually. The physical fitness test is to ensure that each member has the capability to do the job without compromising his or her own safety or the safety of others while performing very demanding physical tasks.
2020 was no doubt a difficult year and through it all, the EPSO team has been incredibly resilient during the most difficult times our province has seen in decades. Together, the team has been steadfast in holding their team values as their guiding principles, humility, accountability, sincerity and collaboration, which continue to be their mantra.
Congratulations to Jay and the entire EPSO Specialist Program on a very successful first year. Excellent work and kudos to you all!