January 9, 2018
Ontario is making changes to its emergency management program in order to better protect public safety, and prevent and respond to existing and evolving risks.
As part of Ontario’s new Emergency Management Action Plan, the province is investing in a Light Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team in Thunder Bay so that specialized equipment and resources can be more quickly deployed in an emergency. This investment will enable Thunder Bay Fire Rescue to enhance their existing Urban Search and Rescue program. Work to improve the search and rescue capacity across the province will continue to address recommendations in the Elliot Lake Commission of Inquiry’s report.
The Action Plan will also help ensure effective oversight and governance with the recruitment of a dedicated Chief of Emergency Management, who will provide focused leadership and a strong voice for emergency management in Ontario.
Ontario is also taking immediate steps to:
These actions are the first step in Ontario’s Emergency Management Action Plan. The province will continue to work with emergency management partners to build a system that is collaborative, proactive, and able to adapt to the unique circumstances of communities across the province.
“Investing in additional resources in Thunder Bay in order to deploy assistance more quickly in a crisis situation will benefit not only local residents but those throughout the region. A rapid response is key to saving lives in an emergency and I commend our government for action that will give Thunder Bay Fire Rescue Service’s Urban Search and Rescue team advanced training and additional needed equipment to improve their ability to respond quickly and efficiently should the need ever arise.”
— Bill Mauro, MPP, Thunder Bay – Atikokan
“The safety of the people of Ontario is our top priority, and the government must be prepared to respond to any type of emergency. In times of crisis, rapid and effective emergency response saves lives and helps communities recover quickly. We have learned important lessons from recent emergencies in Ontario. This review and transformation will result in a better, more effective emergency management system in Ontario.”
— Marie-France Lalonde, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
“As we witness devastating natural disasters occurring throughout the world, it is critically important that our emergency management framework is transformed to ensure Ontario is as resilient as possible, and we are prepared to respond effectively to complex major incidents.”
— Ross Nichols, Ontario Fire Marshal and Chief, Emergency Management
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