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Other Name
TABLETS, “WATER DECONTAMINATION”
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1975
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
PLASTIC, PAPER
Catalogue Number
P20150012010
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
TABLETS, “WATER DECONTAMINATION”
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1975
Materials
PLASTIC, PAPER
No. Pieces
1
Height
5
Length
16.25
Width
10
Description
CLEAR PLASTIC BOTTLE WITH WHITE CAP, FILLED WITH ROUND WHITE TABLETS AND SEALED IN CLEAR PLASTIC BAG. PRINTED LABEL ON BOTTLE HAS TEXT IN ENGLISH AND FRENCH, READING “WATER DECONTAMINANT – EACH TABLET CONTAINS HALAZONE, N.F. 160 MG. WITH SODIUM BORATE AND SODIUM CHLORIDE. ONE HALAZONE TABLET IS SUFFICIENT FOR 5 GALLONS OF ORDINARY WATER. IF WATER IS GREATLY POLLUTED, USE TWO TABLETS. ALLOW WATER TO STAND FOR 30 MINUTES BEFORE DRINKING.” MINOR SCUFFING ON BAG; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
CONTAINER
MEDICAL & DENTAL T&E
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
MILITARY
HEALTH SERVICES
History
THIS BOTTLE OF WATER DECONTAMINATION TABLETS WAS RECOVERED IN SPRING 2015 FROM A STORAGE AREA IN THE BASEMENT OF THE ENMAX CENTRE SPORTS ARENA, WHERE SUPPLIES RELATING TO LETHBRIDGE’S CIVIL DEFENSE POLICE AND DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS/RISK MANAGEMENT HAD BEEN STORED FOR AT LEAST 30 YEARS PRIOR. DURING MARCH AND APRIL 2015, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED CURRENT AND RETIRED CITY STAFF THAT WERE INVOLVED WITH THE MANAGEMENT OF THE SUPPLIES AND DISASTER RESPONSE SERVICES, INCLUDING DIRECTOR OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT JESSE KURTZ, RETIRED DEPUTY FIRE CHIEF MIKE ROSS, FORMER CITY DIRECTOR OF DISASTER SERVICES JOE KARL, FORMER CITY EMERGENCY SERVICES CO-ORDINATOR DENNIS JOBE, AND FORMER ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT TO THE CITY MANAGER/RISK MANAGEMENT & INSURANCE OFFICER LEO VANDENHEUVAL. PREVIOUS RESEARCH INTO THE LETHBRIDGE CIVIL DEFENSE POLICE WAS CONDUCTED IN 2009, WHEN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED ROBERT GARDNER, A FORMER C.D. POLICE MEMBER (SEE RECORD P19870044001 FOR MORE INFORMATION). THE AUXILIARY CIVIL DEFENCE POLICE WAS ORGANIZED IN LETHBRIDGE IN 1951 AFTER THE PROVINCE APPEALED TO ALBERTA MUNICIPALITIES TO PREPARE DEFENCES IN CASE OF AN ENEMY ATTACK, INCLUDING A NUCLEAR STRIKE. THE C.D. POLICE WERE NOT OFFICIALLY PART OF THE LETHBRIDGE CITY POLICE. THE AUXILIARY VOLUNTEERS DID, HOWEVER, RECEIVE TRAINING FROM THE CITY POLICE AND WHEN CALLED OUT BY THE C.D. DIRECTOR, CAME UNDER THE CONTROL OF CHIEF CONSTABLE JAMES H. CARPENTER.THE C.D. POLICE DISBANDED FOR UNKNOWN REASONS IN 1963. GARDNER WAS 33 WHEN HE JOINED THE C.D. POLICE IN 1960, AND EXPLAINS HIS MOTIVATION TO VOLUNTEER WAS BASED ON HIS PERCEPTION THAT A FUTURE WAR WAS LIKELY TO OCCUR – ESPECIALLY GIVEN THE PERIOD’S EVENTS, WHICH INCLUDED THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS. GARDNER REMEMBERED TRAINING UNDER THE POLICE CHIEF AND SENIOR MEMBERS OF THE POLICE FORCE, BUT MAINTAINED THAT OUTSIDE OF INITIAL TRAINING, C.D. POLICE OPERATIONS WERE NOT DIRECTED BY THE CITY POLICE. GARDNER SAID THAT MOST C.D. POLICE VOLUNTEERS WERE “MIDDLE AGED AND STAYED ON DUE TO THE THREAT OF WAR”. JOE KARL SAID: “[IN] LATE 1972 THE CITY MANAGER… [ASSIGNED ME TO] LOOK AFTER DISASTER SERVICES/CIVIL DEFENCE… IT’S HAD DIFFERENT NAMES AS TIME WENT ON… THIS EQUIPMENT… IS A CASUALTY COLLECTING UNIT, WITH WATER BOTTLES, BOOTS, RAIN GEAR, COVERALLS. THERE WERE STRETCHERS [AND] BLANKETS. THESE WERE ALL STORED AT THE OLD MUSEUM [ORIGINAL GALT MUSEUM BUILDING, BEFORE THE 1985 EXPANSION] NEAR THE BOILER ROOM… THAT’S WHERE I FIRST INHERITED THE STUFF. THERE WAS REALLY NO RECORD KEPT OF ANYTHING… [WHEN] WE FOUND OUT WE COULDN’T PUT [THE SUPPLIES] BACK INTO STORAGE [AT THE MUSEUM], BEING SAFETY OFFICER I KNEW AND SCOUTED ALL THE OTHER BUILDINGS IN THE CITY. THE SPORTSPLEX, DOWN IN THE DEEP BASEMENT, HAD A ROOM THAT WAS DRY AND UNOCCUPIED… SO I PUT THE STUFF DOWN THERE AND THAT’S BASICALLY WHERE IT WOUND UP… AT THAT TIME EACH MUNICIPALITY RECEIVED A MERE PITTANCE OF DOLLARS TOWARDS DISASTER SERVICES… 12-1500 EMPLOYEES AND THE ONLY SAFETY PERSON WAS ME… THEN AS THE MUNICIPAL ACT CHANGED, THE EMPHASIS WAS PUT ON POLITICALLY BY THE PROVINCE TO ESTABLISH A PEACETIME SCENARIO … IN THE BASEMENT OF THE OLD COURTHOUSE, THERE [WAS] A ROOM WHERE AN EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTRE WITH ALL THE COMMUNICATIONS HAD BEEN SET UP… FOR GAS, WATER, SEWER, MAYOR, DEPARTMENT HEADS… [THE STRETCHERS AND BLANKETS] WERE USED IN HOSPITAL EXERCISES… TO SEE HOW PREPARED [STAFF WERE], HOW THEY COULD HANDLE MASS CASUALTIES… WE WOULD DO UP 30/40 KIDS IN BROKEN ARMS, AMNESIA, BURNS, FRACTURES, LOSS OF LIMB… THE FIRE DEPARTMENT WAS VERY GOOD, [DOING] TRAINING AND MOCK SCENARIOS.” ARTICLES FROM THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD RANGING FROM 1957 TO 2006 DESCRIBE MOCK DISASTER EXERCISES TAKING PLACE ON A SEMI-REGULAR BASIS, TO TEST THE PREPAREDNESS OF FIRE, AMBULANCE, HOSPITAL, AND CITY ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF. DENNIS JOBE SAID: “SHORTLY AFTER THE EDMONTON TORNADO [IN 1987] THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT DECREED THAT EVERYONE, COUNTIES, CITIES, SHOULD HAVE AN EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLAN… SO THE CITY WAS INSTRUCTED THAT THEY WOULD HAVE TO PUT ONE TOGETHER… I WORKED FOR THE CITY MANAGER… WE WERE AWARE… THAT WE HAD TO HAVE SOME KIND OF PREPARATION… SO WE KNEW WHERE [THE SUPPLIES] WERE [AND] COUNTED THINGS… AND WE DID USE IT A COUPLE OF TIMES [WHEN] WE HAD AN EXERCISE.” LEO VANDENHEUVAL SAID: “WE USED TO HAVE THE EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTRE IN THE BASEMENT OF THE COURT HOUSE… THE REASON IT WAS THERE IS THAT THEY HAD ROOM [AND] IT WAS QUITE A STRONG, FULL CONCRETE FACILITY THAT COULD PERHAPS WITHSTAND A LOT OF DAMAGE… I WOULD HAVE BEEN INVOLVED BACK IN THOSE DAYS AS WELL FROM THE RISK MANAGEMENT STANDPOINT AND BECAUSE I WAS THE SPOKESPERSON FOR THE CITY WHENEVER THINGS WENT SIDEWAYS. THE CITY MANAGER WOULD HAVE BEEN ON THAT TEAM [AS WELL AS] THE FIRE CHIEF, POLICE CHIEF, ALL THE DIRECTORS… COMMUNITY SERVICES… ENGINEERING… THE MAYOR… THAT WHOLE TEAM WOULD HAVE BEEN CALLED TOGETHER TO WORK TOGETHER IN A DISASTER SITUATION… NOTHING OF [HIGHLY EMERGENT] SIGNIFICANCE HAS EVER HAPPENED IN LETHBRIDGE. WE’VE NEVER HAD TO OPEN UP HOUSING CENTRES LIKE THE CIVIC CENTRE OR THE AREAS TO ACCOMMODATE THAT KIND OF THING BECAUSE WE’VE NEVER HAD A DISASTER THAT BIG… THE BIGGEST ONE THAT COMES TO MIND IS THE 1995 FLOOD… AT THAT TIME THERE WAS SOME TALK THAT WE WOULD GET THE MILITARY INVOLVED… BUT BACK THEN IT REQUIRED APPROVAL FROM OTTAWA, SO IT WAS AWFULLY DIFFICULT TO BRING THE MILITARY IN… TO SOME EXTENT WE KNEW THAT [THE CIVIL DEFENSE] EQUIPMENT EXISTED… [SOME OF THE EQUIPMENT] MIGHT HAVE COME INTO THE SYSTEM IN THE LATE ‘80S WHEN DENNIS JOBE WAS AROUND… BECAUSE HE HAD CERTAIN CONTACTS WITH THE MILITARY, BECAUSE HE WAS A RETIRED ARMY OFFICER… [IT IS IMPORTANT THAT] SOMEBODY WITHIN THE ORGANIZATION [IS] AWARE [AND] THAT IT’S INVENTORIED AND KEPT UP TO DATE.” MIKE ROSS SAID: “WHEN I BECAME DEPUTY FIRE CHIEF IN 1998 [THAT POSITION] WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS… WE WERE GOING THROUGH THE BUDGET AND [ASKED] ‘WHAT’S THIS $1000 WE PAID TO THE ENMAX CENTRE?’ BECAUSE THERE WAS A RENTAL [FEE] THAT NO ONE SEEMED TO KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT… WE DID SOME INVESTIGATION AND THEN WE FOUND OUT THAT THERE WAS ALL THIS MATERIAL THAT WAS STORED IN THE DEEP BASEMENT… WE STARTED TO DO SOME RESEARCH AND FOUND OUT THAT IT WAS PART OF A MOBILE HOSPITAL UNIT DATING BACK TO THE COLD WAR… IT [HAD BEEN] BASICALLY FORGOTTEN ABOUT… [IN 2006/2007, HEALTH CANADA] CONTACTED THE CITY AND SAID ‘ON OUR BOOKS THERE IS A [MOBILE] HOSPITAL IN LETHBRIDGE. DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHERE IT IS?’ AND THIS MESSAGE CAME TO ME AS THE EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS CO-ORDINATOR … SUGGESTED THAT [THE SUPPLIES] HAD COME TO THE CITY IN THE ‘50S OR EARLY ‘60S… THE MATERIAL THAT’S THERE NOW IS PROBABLY A THIRD OF WHAT WAS THERE WHEN WE DID THE AUDIT… WE FOUND THINGS LIKE RADIATION BURN DRESSING THAT HAD A ‘BEST BY’ DATE… IV BOTTLES AND IV SOLUTION [THAT] INSTEAD OF BEING CLEAR, WAS CLOUDY… WE KEPT THE STRETCHERS [AND] A BUNCH OF BLANKETS BECAUSE WE FELT THAT… THEY WERE STILL GOOD AND WE COULD USE THEM IN A CURRENT DAY EMERGENCY… SO I REMOVED SOME OF THAT STUFF AND PUT IT OVER [IN] THE EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTRE [AT] THE OLD COURTHOUSE.” SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS, NEWSPAPER ARTICLES, COPIES OF ORIGINAL EMERGENCY SERVICES SUPPLY INVENTORIES, AND RESEARCH MATERIAL ON LETHBRIDGE’S CIVIL DEFENSE POLICE. FOR OTHER ARTIFACTS RELATING TO CIVIL DEFENSE IN LETHBRIDGE, SEE RECORDS P19870044001, P19870044002, P19960112110, P19960112111, P19970094001, AND P20090038000.
Catalogue Number
P20150012010
Acquisition Date
2015-03
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail