Practice makes perfect - Teamwork in action

    Emergency preparedness to be displayed at annual CBRNE/Hazmat exercise in

    TORONTO, Sept. 10 /CNW/ -


    At an annual program exercise in Huntsville today, the provincial
CBRNE/Hazmat (chemical, biological, radiation, nuclear and
explosives/hazardous materials) teams will demonstrate their abilities to
maintain provincial public safety and reduce property loss.
    Beginning early this morning, the Huntsville Fire Department responded
and quickly assessed a liquid hydrogen chloride leak that occurred while it
was being unloaded inside a Huntsville plant facility. It was determined that
the emergency situation exceeded their local capabilities and CBRNE/Hazmat
teams from Toronto and North Bay were notified to respond. A number of workers
inside the plant will be affected by the leak and will require assistance from
responders throughout the exercise. It is all part of the important training
with realistic scenarios that CBRNE/Hazmat teams have come to expect and be
evaluated on.


    "Ontario has the capability to respond to a variety of emergencies at any
time," says Ontario Fire Marshal Pat Burke. "However, it's important to keep
our skills polished and that's why these annual exercises are so important.
CBRNE/Hazmat teams must be ready to respond to situations of varying
complexities and be able to work effectively with municipal fire services as a
team to maintain public safety and reduce property loss."
    "Through partnerships with the mutual aid system, municipalities and
multiple emergency response organizations, it's exercises like this one that
can help us to assess our capabilities, solve problems, collaborate on issues
and adequately anticipate future provincial and municipal needs," said
Carol-Lynn Chambers, Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) Operations Manager/Chief
of Emergency Planning and Strategic Development.


    -  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.

    -  After 9/11, the OFM helped to establish a comprehensive emergency
       response system for the province in which provincial and municipal
       resources could be deployed. The purpose of this system is to provide
       an appropriate response to provincial emergencies and disasters,
       either natural or human-caused.

For further information:

For further information: Carol Gravelle, Office of the Fire Marshal,
(416) 325-3138; Bev Gilbert, Office of the Fire Marshal, (416) 325-3178

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