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Metchosin benefits from student work

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When Metchosin Fire Department Chief Stephanie Dunlop was approached to work with a group of MA in Disaster and Emergency Management (MADEM) students last year, she jumped at the opportunity. Having previously worked with a team from the program, she knew how beneficial it could be to her community. “You just have to be open to learning from the students,” says Dunlop, who is also the district’s emergency program co-ordinator. “They come from all walks of life and they’ve got stuff to teach me. It’s very enjoyable and educating for me. It’s a bonus for our community.” MADEM program head Robin Cox says it’s a win-win for the community and the students, who are all practitioners with experience in the field of disaster and emergency management and come from various areas, including business, health and response. “It’s like free consulting,” Cox says. “We’ve got a lot of students who bring in enormous competencies.” Last year, the group of 14 students assisted Metchosin in assessing it degree of disaster resilience for the MADEM capstone project. In 2010, the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN ISDR) embarked on a campaign to enlist as many communities as possible to pledge to become disaster resilient as part of it Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting Ready Campaign. The UN ISDR developed a checklist of 10 essentials for making cities resilient, and the students’ project involved assisting Metchosin in assessing its progress on achieving each of these 10 essentials and developing a comprehensive plan to become a UN ISDR-designated “Role Model City.”

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