The Inaugural Issue

Volume 1, Number 1

Why CJEM?

CJEM Advisory Board

In today’s turbulent, complex, and uncertain environment it’s necessary for disaster and emergency management communities to be able to prevail against disruption and change just over the horizon. This requires us to learn, unlearn, and relearn.

The Canadian Journal of Emergency Management (CJEM) provides a new opportunity to support professional learning and national dialogue, integrating both academic and practitioner intelligence to advance the collective knowledge of disaster and emergency management professions. This network approach to learning will foster diversity of knowledge and be inclusive of various experiences and perspectives to strengthen the profession, and support capacity for … 

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Welcome the the Inaugural Issue

Simon Wells, CEO

We cannot acknowledge a new venture in Canadian emergency management coming out of 2020 without turning our thoughts to over 15,000 Canadians who have lost their lives to COVID-19 by the New Year alone. The impact and import of emergency management is reckoned in lives lost, altered, and saved.

I would like to thank first and foremost the staff of the Canadian Journal of Emergency Management (CJEM), all of whom are volunteers and many of whom are making their first foray into the industry, bringing myriad experiences and expertise to this initiative. Their tireless work, subject matter expertise, inspiration and dedication, and sage advice has produced the fine product in front of you now.

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The 2018 Toronto Van Attack: Understanding the Disaster by Looking at Vulnerability, Tactics, and Motives

On April 23, 2018, an attacker drove a van along Toronto’s Yonge Street and its sidewalks purposely colliding with pedestrians. Ten persons were killed and 16 persons were injured.

Emergency managers in Canada’s urban centres will occasionally face socially mediated disasters originating from anti-social actions taken by ideologically motivated violent extremists. The Toronto Van attack was a disturbing rapid sequence mass murder which was especially depraved due to its sheer levels of violence and specific targeting of women.

To attempt to comprehend the disaster, this paper explores issues of vulnerability, tactics, and motives related to the vehicular ramming attack. It is suggested that the pervasive threat of gender-driven violence needs to be recognized, crime prevention through environmental design and counter terrorism-based soft target hardening strategies can work to reduce risks, failure of imagination leading to disregard of criminal and terrorist threats should be avoided, and any security measures to defend pedestrians should be commensurate with the actual risk present.

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Co-production through Volunteerism in Emergency Management: The Experience of Resettlement Agencies During the Syrian Refugee Resettlement Initiative

The field of emergency management has been increasingly encouraging the notion of emergency management as a shared, co-productive responsibility, with all members of the society having a role to play. In such whole-of-society efforts, volunteers play a direct role in the co-production of response outcomes. Canada’s mass resettlement of Syrian refugees in 2015 is a case in point, as Canadians rallied en masse to ensure the successful resettlement of thousands of Syrian refugees. In exploring the role of volunteers in this co-productive initiative, there are two important lessons for those in emergency management:

The first involves learning from the volunteer management strategies implemented by resettlement agencies, which are applicable for any responding entity tasked with managing whole-of-society response efforts.

The second (and perhaps more important) lesson is that those managing whole-of-society response efforts must recognize that value is co-created through three key relationships, a triad between volunteers, response entities, and those directly impacted by a disaster. Each of these relationships must be better understood and managed in order to achieve more effective emergency response outcomes in whole-of-society initiatives.

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Nurses’ Perception of Readiness for Mass Casualty Events Involving Children

During mass casualty events, hospitals must be ready to receive and provide patient care for both children and adults.  However, many studies have shown that due to a lack of funding, resources, training, and time, nurses consistently report feeling unprepared to care for children during mass casualty events.

To improve understanding of how prepared pediatric-trained nurses are to respond to mass casualty events involving children, Registered Nurses (RN) completed a survey with questions that included four domains: professional demographics and employment history, experience working as an RN in a mass casualty event, knowledge questions related to current organizational mass casualty procedures, and perceptions on professional preparedness.

Survey results indicate that 74% of participants agree that a mass casualty event primarily involving children, requiring what is known as a Code Orange activation, will occur at some point during their career.  Nurse participants do not currently receive regular training related to a Code Orange activation, and are overall dissatisfied with the little training provided.  Nurses believe emergency preparedness is important to their professional development.

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Meet the Authors

Suad Ahmed
Graduate Student Researcher
York University

Jennifer Horney
Professor, Program of Epidemiology
University of Delaware

Chris Kearns
Deputy Chief of Emergency Services
City of Red Deer, AB

Catherine Kenny
MDEM
York University

Aaida Mamuji
Associate Professor
Disaster & Emergency Management
York University

Dr. Naveen Poonai
Physician & Associate Professor Paediatrics and Internal Medicine
Western University

Jack L. Rozdilsky
Associate Professor
Disaster & Emergency Management
York University

Rosemary Thuss
Manager, Emergency Management
London Health Sciences Centre

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