CBRNE Demonstrates Preparedness in Handling Hazardous Materials

    GANANOQUE, ON, Sept. 27 /CNW/ - At an annual program exercise today, the
provincial CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiation, nuclear and explosives)
teams demonstrated their abilities to maintain provincial public safety and
reduce property loss in any Ontario community, in the event of an actual
CBRNE/Hazardous Materials provincial emergency.
    "It is beyond the capability of most communities in Ontario to
individually purchase and maintain equipment, then fund the ongoing training
necessary to respond to CBRNE incidents," said Doug Crawford, Deputy Fire
Marshal. "This is why after 9/11, the Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) helped
to establish a comprehensive response system for the province of Ontario in
which provincial and municipal resources could be deployed to support these
    In the early morning hours, CBRNE teams from Peterborough and Ottawa were
successfully notified and deployed to mitigate a jack-knifed tractor-trailer
and its overturned cargo of three chlorine cylinders at a popular Gananoque
intersection. As the team worked to contain the chlorine, they were met with
constant interactions of about 50 local high school students who dramatized
situational scenarios such as breathing problems, and mobility issues. It was
all part of the important training with realistic scenarios that CBRNE teams
have come to expect and be evaluated on.
    "The exercise was an excellent learning opportunity for the CBRNE teams
and for assessing the level of provincial emergency preparedness as it
pertains to hazardous materials," said Carol-Lynn Chambers, OFM Operations
Manager/Chief of Emergency Planning and Strategic Development. "Through
partnerships with the mutual aid system, municipalities and multiple emergency
response organizations, it's exercises like this one that help us to make
changes, solve problems, collaborate on issues and adequately anticipate
future provincial and municipal needs."
    Depending on the level of emergency response needed within the province,
the OFM coordinates nine hazardous materials teams who operate at different
levels. Strategically located throughout the province, all teams can be
notified and deployed 24/7 through the Provincial Emergency Operation Centre.

For further information:

For further information: or to request an interview with the Deputy Fire
Marshal, contact: Carol Gravelle, Office of the Fire Marshal, (416) 325-3138;
Bev Gilbert, Office of the Fire Marshal, (416) 325-3178

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