NEW PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT STANDARD UNVEILED FOR FIREFIGHTERS, POLICE, PARAMEDICS AND HEALTH CARE WORKERS

TORONTO, Jan. 25 /CNW/ - To help protect Canadians, it is essential that first responders right across Canada have access to the right protective equipment in the event of a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) incident.

Today during a re-enactment event of a hazardous situation, CSA Standards (CSA) and the federal government announced Canada's first national standard for protective equipment for front-line fire, police and paramedic workers.

"Our government understands how essential it is for those who put their lives on the line for Canadian families to have the best support and equipment possible," said Honourable Vic Toews, Canada's Public Safety Minister. "With today's announcement of new equipment standards for our first responders, we are working to ensure that firefighters, police officers, paramedics and health care workers have the highest standard of protective equipment available while working to protect Canadians in extraordinary urgent situations."

Most first responders in Canada have hazardous material or dangerous goods standards to guide them in responding to a CBRN incident.  Now, for the first time, emergency services personnel will have a national protective equipment standard specific to CBRN incidents recognized across jurisdictions to guide and protect them in their vital work.

During a CBRN incident, Canadians rely on fire, police and emergency medical services to respond.  The CAN/CGSB/CSA-Z1610, Protection of First Responders from Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Events standard specifies requirements for the selection, use and care of personal protective equipment for first responders to a CBRN incident, including deliberate attacks/releases and contagious outbreak events.

"Canada's front-line emergency workers form the backbone of our society by answering the call of duty without question when people are in need," said Bonnie Rose, President, CSA Standards. "The work that the Canadian General Standards Board and the CSA technical committees have done in developing this voluntary national standard is a model of cooperation and one that will help lead to improved protection for our heroic first responders across jurisdictions from coast-to-coast."

"The development of a single recognized standard will ensure protection for police, fire fighters, and military and emergency medical services personnel across the country," said Terrence Davies, Director of Public Works and Government Services Canada's Canadian General Standards Board.

The new national standard will have a significant impact in assisting first responder organizations in the selection, use, capabilities and limitations of CBRN personal protective equipment, enabling them to do their jobs more safely and with greater protection and functionality. The standard identifies requirements for protective CBRN equipment, such as respiratory protection and whole-body protection. It also addresses the differences between a conventional hazardous material incident and a deliberate CBRN incident in order to understand how equipment guidelines may differ.

Funding for the development of this new Canadian national standard was provided by the Government of Canada's CBRNE Research and Technology Initiative. In kind contributions of personnel and facilities were made by Public Safety Canada and many other stakeholders representing first responders, industry, government and research, testing and education organizations.

Government of Canada

The response to a CBRN incident entails shared responsibilities and contributions across various levels of Government, sectors and specializations. The province or territory where a CBRN incident occurs has the main responsibility to manage its consequences.  They are also responsible for working with municipalities.  If needed, a province or territory can request additional assistance from the Government of Canada.  For more information, please visit Public Safety Canada's website www.publicsafety.gc.ca.

About the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB)

For over 75 years, the CGSB has provided standardization services, both in standards development and conformity assessment, in support of stakeholders' regulatory, economic, health, safety and environmental interests. The CGSB offers a wide range of consensus standards development services and support of International (ISO) standards.  The CGSB is also a charter participant in the National Standards System (NSS) of Canada, and is accredited to provide standardization services through standards development and conformity assessment (certification of products and services to ISO 9001, ISO 14001) by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).  For more information visit http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/cgsb/home/index-e.html 

About CSA Standards

CSA Standards is a leading standards-based solutions organization serving industry, government, consumers and other interested parties in North America and the global marketplace. Focusing on standards and codes development, application products, training, advisory and personnel certification services, the organization aims to enhance public safety, improve quality of life, preserve the environment and facilitate trade. CSA Standards is a division of CSA Group, which also consists of CSA International, which provides testing and certification services for electrical, mechanical, plumbing, gas and a variety of other products; and OnSpeX, a provider of consumer product evaluation, inspection and advisory services for retailers and manufacturers. For more information visit www.csa.ca

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SOURCE CSA Standards

For further information:

CSA Group       
Anthony Toderian     
Manager, Media Relations     
416-747-2620
anthony.toderian@csagroup.org
       Public Safety Canada  
       Media Relations
       613-991-0657

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