CALGARY, AB—Hill+Knowlton Strategies is launching a new corporate emergency response offering as a complement to its existing crisis communications service. The new offering will provide emergency response preparedness to organization, providing a wide range of crisis management and incident response services beyond the communications function.

According to Lisa Walker, general manager of the firm’s Alberta office, “Until now, H+K has helped clients to prepare for communications during a crisis by developing plans, delivering training, conducting exercises and through 24/7 on-call support. With this expansion into emergency response, H+K will also now offer preparedness to a broader corporate emergency response team beyond communications, including Incident Commanders and those with regulatory, legal and human resources responsibilities.”

To lead the new national service from its Calgary office, H+K has hired Vlad Grigore, formerly leader of emergency response, development and production in North America for energy giant Statoil, where he also served as one of the company’s “incident commanders.” At Statoil, and previously with emergency response planner Gecko Management Consultants, Grigore designed and wrote emergency response plans for both North American and global implementation.

“Most companies focus their efforts on planning and implementing a frontline response to an emergency,” says Jane Shapiro, the corporate and crisis communications national service leader at H+K. “That’s important. But, in reality, to protect reputation and social license to operate, organizations need to take a holistic approach to incident management that ensures words and deeds are aligned from the start.”