As a response to the emergency incidents and threats that occurred in the past – such as the World Trade Centre on September 11 and Oklahoma City bombings both took place in the U.S., and the underground parking collapse in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) – the City of Toronto in Ontario, Canada, created a new state of Emergency Services readiness and capability in the form of a highly organized team called a Heavy Urban Search and Rescue Team (HUSAR).
Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada (PSEPC) – defines HUSAR as:
- “The 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
- The securing of partially or completely collapsed structures
- These Teams are expected to be completely self sufficient for 72 hours”
Toronto HUSAR – Heavy Urban Search And Rescue Team:
- is a multi-service, multi-skilled, and multi-functional task force developed within the framework of existing response agencies
- for structuring existing emergency service personnel and other city employees from the local level into an integrated response Heavy Urban Search And Rescue Team
- has the capability to deal with almost any type of incident either man-made or natural.
- Toronto HUSAR may be used in part by the local emergency services or as a whole depending on the requirement
- Toronto HUSAR is fully deployable on a 24/7 basis with a muster (assemble) time of 6 hours.
Yesterday, there was a collapse of a four storey parking garage at the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake, at about 2:19 pm with at least one person trapped.
- Elliot Lake’s Mayor Rick Hamilton declared a state of emergency
- The OPP UCRT team (USAR [Urban Search and Rescue] CBRNE [Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear] Response Team) has been dispatched and Toronto HUSAR has been asked to assist.
- Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal requested the Toronto HUSAR team to be deployed at 8 p.m. Saturday night from Toronto.
- HUSAR team size was expected to be 25-30 members.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The following news release was issued on Saturday evening, June 23, 2012.
The City of Toronto’s HUSAR team has been asked to deploy to Elliot Lake by the Office of the Fire Marshal.
There has been a collapse of a four storey parking garage with at least one person trapped. The OPP UCRT team has been dispatched and we have been asked to assist. The team is expected to deploy at 8 p.m. tonight from Toronto. The team size is expected to be 25-30 members.
For more specific information about the team please refer to http://www.toronto.ca/wes/techservices/oem/husar/index.htm
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