On Sunday, March 12, Toronto’s multi-emergency services Heavy Urban Search & Rescue Team (HUSAR) safely returned from Canada’s first national search and rescue exercise.
Forty-two Team members where deployed to Calgary to exercise, and co-participate in several simulated disaster situations over a 3-day period. Toronto formed up and operated with the other search and rescue Teams within Canada; Vancouver, Calgary, Manitoba and Halifax. The Teams were tasked to safely and efficiently extricate patients who were trapped under various types of building debris. The high winds and cold conditions further complicated the situations as the rescuers successfully pressed on to complete their missions.
On all accounts the exercise was deemed a great success. This opportunity tests the skills and training of the Teams, while the experience and information exchange between Team members proved to be invaluable.
All Team members appreciated this exercise opportunity that was funded by PSEPC (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada) and hoped these types of exercises will become annual events in order to better prepare Canada’s heavy urban search and rescue response capabilities.