• November 10, 2008 9:10 AM
  • - General

Testing Province's Emergency Response


    McGuinty Government Leads Largest Ever Emergency Exercise

    TORONTO, Nov. 10 /CNW/ -NEWS

    Ontario will test its ability to respond to a disaster by participating in
the largest emergency response exercise held in recent history.
    Exercise Trillium Response will involve all levels of government and will
simulate a massive ice storm in the northwestern area of the province, similar
in scope to the one that devastated eastern Ontario and Québec in 1998.
    The exercise will take place in Thunder Bay and area between November 17
and 23. More than 1,500 participants from the Ontario and Canadian government,
25 municipalities and three First Nations communities, the province of
Manitoba and non-government organizations, will participate.
    A fleet of specialized equipment and tactical teams will be deployed in
the exercise including:

    -  The Emergency Medical Assistance Team (EMAT)
       (http://webx.newswire.ca/click/?id=6f96f7a0225280a)
    -  Emergency Management Ontario (EMO)'s Mobile Emergency Operations
       Centre or Mobile 1 (http://webx.newswire.ca/click/?id=11324177eed56ce)
    -  1,000 members of the Canadian Forces
       (http://www.canadacom.forces.gc.ca/site/org-org-eng.asp), dozens of
       specialized army vehicles, naval craft and a Boeing CC-177, the
       military's newest heavy transport aircraft.EMO and the Canadian Forces are jointly leading exercise Trillium
Response.

    QUOTES

    "Being prepared will help save lives and lessen the economic impact of a
disaster and will allow Ontario to recover more quickly after an emergency,"
said Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Rick Bartolucci
(http://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/about_min/bio.html). "This exercise
will build on our existing expertise and uncover areas that may need
improvement."
    "It is crucial for the region to be well prepared for emergencies as the
Thunder Bay area provides key strategic transportation linkages between
western and eastern Canada," said Northern Development and Mines Minister
Michael Gravelle (http://www.mndm.gov.on.ca/about/executives_e.asp).QUICK FACTS

    -  The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care's EMAT is a mobile 56-bed
       medical field unit that can be driven anywhere in Ontario within 24
       hours.

    LEARN MORE

    Read about exercise Trillium Response and emergency management in Ontario.

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    BACKGROUNDER
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                           TRILLIUM RESPONSE 2008Trillium Response is a multi-jurisdictional disaster response exercise
developed by Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) and the Canadian Forces. It
will simulate a large-scale ice storm taking place in northwestern Ontario
starting on November 17 and escalating over the following week. The exercise
will test the province's ability to respond to a full-scale emergency.
    Exercise Trillium Response will draw on the expertise of more than 1,500
participants from the provincial and federal governments, 25 municipalities
and three First Nations communities, the province of Manitoba and
non-governmental organizations. This includes 1,000 members of the Canadian
Forces.

    SUPPORT FOR TRILLIUM RESPONSE

    "One of Canada Command's primary roles is providing civil and
humanitarian aid in times of disaster," said Commander of Joint Task Force
Central Brigadier-General John Collin. "The Canadian Forces will assist the
province for this exercise because on any given day, we stand ready to help
Canadians in times of need."
    "We are pleased to be the host city for this exercise," said Thunder Bay
Mayor Lynn Peterson. "As the regional hub, it is essential that Thunder Bay
and surrounding communities be prepared for all types of emergency situations.
The coming exercise will be a highly beneficial test of our resources and
skills in the event of a real disaster."
    "We are all about being well prepared," said Chief of Emergency
Management Ontario
    Dan Hefkey. "Working with a range of local and federal agencies in
exercises like Trillium Response helps us all to learn valuable lessons.
Ontarians expect the people who manage emergencies to do everything to be well
prepared. We are meeting that expectation with this exercise."

    PROVINCIAL INVOLVEMENT IN TRILLIUM RESPONSE

    Emergency Management Ontario

    EMO is a branch of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional
Services. Through effective partnerships, it leads the coordination,
development and implementation of prevention, mitigation, preparedness,
response and recovery strategies to maximize the safety and security of
Ontarians.

    Mobile 1

    EMO's Mobile Emergency Operations Centre, or Mobile 1, is a state-of-the
art mobile emergency response vehicle equipped with communications and support
equipment. Mobile 1 can provide communities with a mobile facility for the
coordination of local response efforts. In addition, it can supply power and
full communications support to a municipal or ministry Emergency Operations
Centre or Emergency Information Centre in the event that conventional
communications are not available.

    Provincial Emergency Operations Centre

    Located in Toronto and staffed at all times, the Provincial Emergency
Operations Centre (PEOC) continually monitors emerging and ongoing situations
inside and outside of Ontario. This ensures key decision-makers and provincial
resources (http://webx.newswire.ca/click/?id=11324177eed56ce) are able to
respond as quickly as possible.
    The key function of the PEOC is to coordinate the Ontario government
response to major emergencies, including providing a single point of contact
for municipalities and First Nations for provincial emergency assistance.

    Office of the Fire Marshal

    The Office of the Fire Marshal
(http://www.ofm.gov.on.ca/english/default.asp) (OFM) provides assistance to
Ontario fire services for large-scale events and emergencies involving
chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, explosive (CBRNE), hazardous
materials (HAZMAT) and Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR). It assists fire
service leaders in risk management and decision-making.
    A key component of the overall Trillium Response exercise, Trillium
Assist, is coordinated by the OFM and will involve elements of its CBRNE,
HAZMAT and HUSAR programs. The OFM's Mobile Satellite/Operational Support Unit
provides state-of-the-art satellite and related communications, real-time
research and other support capabilities and will take part.

    Ontario Provincial Police's Provincial Emergency Response Team

    The Provincial Emergency Response Team (PERT) consists of 28 highly
trained officers prepared to respond to chemical, biological, radiological,
nuclear and explosive threats and urban search and rescue incidents. The team
also provides support to other specialized Ontario Provincial Police units.
    PERT assists other provincial and municipal agencies, such as the OFM, in
emergency planning and mitigation for large-scale disasters and major events.

    Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care's Emergency Medical Assistance Team

    Ontario's Emergency Medical Assistance Team consists of a self-sufficient
56-bed acute and intermediate care mobile field unit. It provides support when
the health-care system in a community is overwhelmed in a local emergency, and
can be dispatched within 24 hours anywhere in Ontario with road access. EMAT
is staffed by a group of volunteer emergency medical professionals who are
specifically trained to respond to major health emergencies.
    The team operates with its own medical equipment and supplies, a
communications centre, electricity and water. The EMAT is funded by the
province and deployed at the request of the Ontario Ministry of Health and
Long-Term Care.
    EMAT is operated by Ornge, a charitable organization that operates one of
the largest and most sophisticated programs of transport medicine in North
America. Ornge performs approximately 18,000 admissions annually and
coordinates all aspects of Ontario's aero medical transport system, the new
critical care land transport program, and the authorization of air and land
ambulance transfers between hospitals. Ornge is dedicated to the provision of
high quality patient care through innovative transport medicine.

    FEDERAL PARTICIPATION

    The Canadian Forces, through Canada Command, provides civil and
humanitarian assistance to Canadians when requested by civil authorities. For
Trillium Response, the Canadian Forces is providing 1,000 soldiers, sailors,
airmen and airwomen to assist provincial authorities in dealing with the
exercise disaster.
    The Canadian Forces is also providing military facilities, vehicles,
specialized medical and communications equipment and a CC-177 Globemaster
transport airplane to assist in this exercise. Personnel will come from
Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, and from Reserve garrisons and bases across
Ontario.

    MUNICIPAL, FIRST NATIONS AND OTHER STAKEHOLDER PARTICIPATION

    Municipalities across northwestern Ontario are taking part in the
exercise. Participation varies from full field activities in Thunder Bay and
Shuniah to tabletop and command post exercises in most other communities. The
Aroland, Constance Lake and Rocky Bay First Nations are also taking part in
Trillium Response.
    Non-governmental organizations, such as the Salvation Army, the Canadian
Red Cross and St. John Ambulance, are also playing a key role in the exercise;
they will be involved in food distribution, coordinating services to evacuees
and providing first aid.
    Confederation College in Thunder Bay is also participating by providing
audio-visual support to the exercise and the involvement of students in
different exercise components such as casualty simulations and mock media
coverage.
    Ontario's emergency Supply Chain and Logistics Coordination Alliance
includes experts from EMO, private sector firms and organizations and federal
departments such as Public Safety Canada and the Department of National
Defence. In the event of a disaster, private sector representatives will join
public sector officials at the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre. They
would provide technical advice on procurement and distribution issues and
reach out to private firms to assist with emergency acquisition,
transportation and distribution of essential goods and products.

    INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

    All Ontario households should have an emergency preparedness kit that
will allow families to be self-sufficient for the first 72 hours of an
emergency. The kit should contain supplies which consider the specific
requirements of every family member, including those with disabilities,
special needs, children, seniors and pets.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION

    Learn more about preparing a family emergency survival kit
(http://webx.newswire.ca/click/?id=88bbef0061929ab).-------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       ontario.ca/safety-news
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    FACT SHEET
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               PARTICIPANTS IN EXERCISE TRILLIUM RESPONSE 2008

    Trillium Response 2008 involves more than 1,500 participants from 40
different organizations including provincial ministries, federal departments,
the Canadian Forces, municipalities and non-governmental organizations. It was
developed jointly by Emergency Management Ontario and the Canadian Forces.

    PROVINCIAL PARTNERS

    The following provincial ministries and agencies are taking part in the
exercise:

    - Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
      - Emergency Management Ontario
      - Ontario Provincial Police
      - Office of the Fire Marshal
    - Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
      - Emergency Medical Assistance Team
    - Ministry of Natural Resources
    - Ministry of Labour
    - Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
    - Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure
    - Ministry of the Environment
    - Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
    - Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs
    - Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
    - Ministry of Transportation.

    In addition, the province of Manitoba is also taking part in the exercise,
including its provincial Heavy Urban Search and Rescue team and emergency
management organization.

    FEDERAL PARTNERS

    The following federal departments and agencies are involved in the
exercise:
    - The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces through its
      Ontario-based Joint Task Force Central
    - Public Safety Canada
    - Canadian Coast Guard
    - Environment Canada.

    MUNICIPAL AND FIRST NATIONS PARTNERS

    - City of Thunder Bay
    - Rainy River District  (Rainy River, Lake of the Woods, Dawson, Emo,
      La Valle, Chapple, Alberton, Morley - share a joint emergency
      operations centre)
    - Town of Atikokan
    - Township of Conmee
    - Township of Fort Frances
    - City of Kenora
    - Town of Machin
    - Town of Manitouwadge
    - Town of Marathon
    - Township of Neebing
    - Townships of Nipigon, Red Rock and Dorion (joint exercise)
    - Township of Oliver Paipoonge
    - Township of Pickle Lake
    - Township of Shuniah
    - Aroland First Nation
    - Constance Lake First Nation
    - Rocky Bay First Nation.

    OTHER PARTNERS

    Non-governmental organizations and other participants in Trillium Response
include:

    - Canadian Red Cross
    - St. John Ambulance
    - Salvation Army
    - Confederation College
    - Thunder Bay Port Authority
    - Thunder Bay Airport Authority
    - Supply Chain and Logistics Coordination Alliance.

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For further information: Laura Blondeau, Minister's Office, (416)
325-4973; Patrice Cloutier, Communications Branch, (416) 326-9195