Marine Emergency Duties Centre opens in Owen Sound

The new Algoma Central Corporation Marine Emergency Duties (MED) Centre was officially opened October 6 at the Owen Sound Campus of Georgian College.

The C$7.5 million, 13,600-square-foot facility is a key part of the college’s Centre for Marine Training and Research. It will be used extensively by students enrolled in Georgian’s post-secondary marine programs, as well as by working mariners who require certification or refresher training.

“Marine Emergency Duties training is critical to our industry and we are pleased to help make this training available in Ontario, where it has been absent since 2013. Fleet renewal has been a priority for our company but equally as important, we need to invest in training our current and future personnel to ensure our shipping operations flourish,” said Ken Bloch Soerensen, President and CEO, Algoma Central Corporation.

MED training is mandatory for anyone who works on a ship in Canada. After several years without a marine emergency duties training facility in Ontario, mariners will no longer need to travel to Canada’s east or west coasts to obtain this certification. Lifesaving training includes firefighting, survival craft, life raft and immersion suit training, as well as first aid. The location of the center at Georgian College confirms the Owen Sound Campus as a premier facility for professional marine education.

The Government of Canada provided C$1.96 million through the Small Communities Fund for the project and the Province of Ontario contributed C$1.96 million. Grey County Council was the first to pledge financial support, in the amount of C$2 million, recognizing in part the significant economic importance to the region.

Several marine industry leaders—who will train their workforce at the center—made substantial donations to help ensure the facility would become a reality. The center is named for Algoma Central Corporation, which became the largest private donor to the project with its donation of C$1 million. The common area in the center is named in recognition of Lower Lakes Towing LTD., which also made a donation of C$500,000.

Georgian offers two full-time post-secondary marine co-op programs—a two-year diploma in Marine Engineering Technician and a three-year advanced diploma in Marine Technology-Navigation. A one-year graduate certificate in Marine Engineering Management is offered for those seeking advanced training in the marine industry.

The Centre for Marine Training and Research also provides training for working mariners, with 2,400 course registrations in the past year alone. For more information click here.

Maritime Editorial