MEDIA ADVISORY: Provincial Search and Rescue Exercise

print-logo October 09, 2019

Municipality of Port Hope Partners with Canada Task Force in Provincial Urban Search and Rescue Exercise, October 15-19


Wednesday, October 9, 2019 - Port Hope, ON

Members of the media and the community are advised that the Municipality of Port Hope has partnered with Canada Task Force 3 (CAN-TF3), to conduct a Provincial Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) exercise on the properties of 74 Queen Street (the former Lakeland Place) and 10 Robertson Street (the former Canadian Tire Store), from October 15 to 19, 2019.

Canada Task Force 3 is one of six Heavy Urban Search and Rescue teams in Canada, located in Toronto, ON. Established in 1998, the team's mandate includes the searching of buildings for live person(s) that have experienced structural collapse or has been compromised after a natural disaster or criminal action. Made up of 120 members consisting of Toronto Fire, Toronto Police, Toronto Paramedic Services and Sunnybrook Hospital employees, the team is capable of rescue, search, and medical aid to persons that are located in these environments. Also in attendance will be the provincially funded teams from the City of Ottawa (Medium USAR), the City of Thunder Bay (Light USAR) and the City of Windsor (Light USAR).

This exercise will allow the Team to perform activities associated with structural collapse emergencies and rescuers will be performing wall and floor shoring, heavy obstacle lifting and moving, breaking and breaching concrete and search procedures. Search dogs will also be present but will be under control of their handlers, and security fencing will be put into position and monitored at all times. Additionally, the Urban Search and Rescue teams will interact with members of Port Hope Fire and Emergency Services during the exercise to ensure that there are continued key elements of command and control during this large-scale event.

Activities will be conducted all day and into the evening, with emphasis on daytime activities; however, some scenarios may be conducted overnight. Robertson Street and Queen Street will remain open at all times and trailers will be parked strategically to reduce any noise that may occur on site from neighbouring residents. The Team will be present approximately one week prior to the event for exercise preparation and after the event for site rehabilitation.

Once activated, the Team is capable of sustaining itself for 10 days, bringing their own food, water, shelter, heating/cooling, communications, logistics, rescue tools, sleeping quarters and mobile command units. Due to this large footprint of structures, equipment and personnel, every consideration will be made to ensure the safety and privacy of the community. However, while in the Municipality of Port Hope, the team’s Coordinator, John Davidson, advised that they will also be working with community partners to provide some of its lodging, catering and other logistical requirements. Coordinator Davidson and Fire Chief C. Ryan Edgar are working collaboratively to ensure the Team’s presence in Port Hope will have a positive impact in our Municipality.

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On July 25, 2018, Municipal Council executed the purchase of the property at 74 Queen Street (Lakeland Place) by By-law 58/2018. Subsequently, at their regular meeting on June 18, 2019, Council directed Staff to proceed with the demolition of the existing building on 74 Queen Street as a means of increasing opportunities for future use and development of the property. Following this Council decision, Fire Chief Edgar contacted the Canada Task Force 3 Team to propose that the two organizations work together in the Province’s large-scale annual emergency exercise.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Kate Ingram, Communications / Community Engagement Coordinator
(905) 885-4544 x2248

For exercise inquiries, please contact:
John Davidson
HUSAR CAN-TF3 Coordinator
(416) 427-4932;

C. Ryan Edgar
Port Hope Fire and Emergency Services Director/Fire Chief
(905) 753-2230