be defined as events that cause serious disruptions in the services
that are essential for the normal operation of a community(s)
frequently result in widespread human and environmental losses.
Such disruptions exceed the emergency management capabilities
the affected community(s).
Over the last
few years the strategic and emergency management community, through
a series of studies analyzing the various risks to the global
community, exposed a gap in response capability. Along came the
events of September 11th. Our newly amalgamated city is on the
way to completing its planned response capabilities.
There are numerous railway systems that feed into Toronto, and indeed the province.
By utilizing a training site such as this, Toronto's HUSAR team should
be well prepared for any eventuality.
notwithstanding, and though the World Trade Centre and Oklahoma
City bombings both took place in the U.S., the Toronto Transit
Commission (TTC) incident and an underground parking collapse
both occurred in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The outcomes
of these incidents, in addition to the 2002 house collapse in
Markham, Ontario, and 200 collapse in Sarnia, Ontario have demonstrated
a need, and a real urgency for the updating of our strategies.
Had the TTC incident led to a structural collapse of the tunnel,
it very well could have overwhelmed the combined response agencies
in their mitigation. Had there been victims involved in the parking
garage collapse, the available resources would have been unable
to provide the required response. Emergency services would have
been unable to conduct the type of rescue operations expected.
It is important
as our city grows that the role of the Emergency Services expands
at the same rate in order to offer the level of skilled service
it has in the past. This project will help close the gap. In
a short period of time, and in concert with the city as a whole,
the leadership of Toronto's Emergency Management Teams will create
a series of pre-incident plans, with a specially trained and
equipped series of intervention contingencies, able to demonstrate
to our taxpayers and to the world that Toronto is indeed a world
class city. This world class city is subject to the same types
of incidents and threats that occur in other cities it's size,
and we will offer a high level of readiness to deal with almost
any type of emergency. Once this project has begun, Toronto HUSAR,
and its partners, will offer such assistance to neighboring communities
across the province. In time, it is the plan to be able to deploy
such assistance, nationally and internationally, if required.
Toronto's Emergency Services have begun its leadership role in
making this project happen. It is a considerable challenge, one
for which our city is now prepared.
of this project, the City of Toronto, with the leadership of
Toronto HUSAR, will have achieved a new state of readiness. This
capability will be in the form of a highly organized team called
a Heavy Urban Search and Rescue Team (HUSAR), the likes of which
were instrumental to the success of the emergency response at
Oklahoma City (US&R in the U.S.).
Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada (PSEPC) - formerly
Infrastucture Protection and Emergency Preperadness OCIPEP - defines HUSAR as:
location of trapped persons in collapsed structures using dogs
and sophisticated search equipment; the use of heavy equipment
such as cranes to remove debris; the work to breach, shore,
remove and lift structural components; the treatment and removal
of victims; and the securing of partially or completely collapsed
structures. These Teams are expected to be completely self
sufficient for 72 hours."
our Heavy Urban Search And Rescue Team, will be a multi-service,
multi-skilled, and multi-functional task force developed within
the framework of existing response agencies. Our Team will have
the capability to deal with almost any type of incident either
man made or natural. The Team may be used in part by the local
emergency services or as a whole depending on the requirement.
Toronto HUSAR will be fully deployable on a 24/7 basis with a
muster time of 6 hours. The project, now well underway, began
with a complete assessment of community risks and rescue requirements.
HUSAR Project will act as a framework for structuring existing emergency
service personnel and other city employees from the local level
into an integrated response Team. This community based HUSAR Team
takes advantage of the pre-existing organizations that support them.
The emergency service personnel who perform this work on a daily
basis will be further trained in many related fields of rescue,
giving them the ability to function as a unique and independent
Team, if necessary.
Search and Rescue in a collapsed structure is a highly complicated, dangerous
task. It involves a team of well-trained individuals in a variety of disciplines.
In order to be prepared for any eventuality, the Team's training would
be on-going, encountering many different types of scenarios.