Skip to main content

Boreal Community Media

International Conference to focus on Emergency Response Without Borders

Mar 20, 2018 10:03AM ● By Editor

March 20, 2018 – On March 21 & 22, public safety officials from both sides of the US and Canadian border will converge at the Grand Portage Lodge Event Center for the 2018 Cross-Border Conference MN/ON Emergency Management Conference. The conference, held every other year and rotates between Borders, brings together local, state, and federal officials from a wide variety of emergency response agencies and elected positions. 


“It’s about being ready for anything and knowing how to work together when our communities need us,” said Valerie Marasco, Director – Cook County Office of Emergency Management & Public Information and Conference Chair. “This is a unique opportunity to come together and focus on issues of mutual concern, joint response to emergencies in and around the border, who does what and how when it comes to disasters, and trends of concern we need to have on our radar.”

Nearly 100 officials, including Minnesota’s Commissioner of Public Safety Mona Dohman, Director of MN Homeland Security & Emergency Management Joe Kelly, Dr. Arnold Vang, Officer in Charge of Quarantine from the Center for Disease Control, the Department of Public Safety Statewide Gang and Drug Coordinator Brian Marquart, Ontario’s Fire Marshal Ross Nichols and Ontario Director of Emergency Management Mike Morton, along with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and US and Canadian Border Services and more, will take part.

Highlights of the conference will include:

  • The Northern Emergency Management Assistance Compact with MN Homeland Security & Emergency Management and Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal & Emergency Management
  • The Roll Out of the North American Humanitarian Response Summit with American Red Cross Vice President of International Services, Jono Anzalone from Washington DC and Lise Anne Pierce Senior Manager, Emergency Operations for the Canadian Red Cross, National Office.   
  • Law Enforcement Intelligence: Trends of Concern with the Department of Public Safety, Ontario Provincial Police, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and US Border Patrol
  • “The Border” – Who Does What: Border Patrol vs Customs & Immigration/Resources Available
  • 2018 Public Health & Infectious Disease Concerns with Dr. Arnold Vang, CDC, Ellen Hill, MN Epidemiologist, and Lee Sieswerda, Epidemiologist/Manager Environmental Health Thunder Bay District Health Unit

The 2018 Conference is being by the hosted by the Pigeon River International Emergency Management Committee (PRIEMC). The PRIEMC brings together Elected Officials, Emergency Management, Public Health, Law Enforcement, Fire, EMS, Customs & Border Protection, the Border Patrol, Coast Guard, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and volunteer organizations from both sides of the Pigeon River/Grand Portage Border from the City of Thunder Bay to Duluth, MN, to work together on emergency preparedness and response. The Committee is chaired by Cook County Emergency Management Director Valerie Marasco and Vice-Chair Thunder Bay Community Emergency Management Coordinator & Division Chief Dennis Brescacin, Thunder Bay Fire Rescue.

Contact:  Valerie Marasco, Director – Office of Emergency Management & Public Information/PRIEMC & Conference Chair, 218-387-5366 or [email protected]

Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here