The Canada – U.S. Enhanced Resiliency Experiment IV (CAUSE IV) – Vignette 2

From Defence Research and Development Canada

October 25, 2016

Canada and the United States came together from April 26 to 28, 2016 to assess technologies that can help their respective emergency management officials and responders communicate and exchange information more efficiently during an emergency situation touching both sides of the border.


The United States Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology logo appears on a black background and then fades to a video of flowing water.

Soft music begins.

Text: (The St. Clair River flows between Lambton County, Ontario and St. Clair County, Michigan) appears on watermark image of connected American and Canadian flags.

Fade to video of the bridge connecting the two counties.

Text: (and separates the two communities by less than 500 yards.)

Fade to head shot interview with Jeffrey A. Friedland, Director, Homeland Security Emergency Management, St. Clair County, Michigan, USA.

Friedland: Locally, Lambton County, Ontario, and St. Clair County, Michigan, we kind of view ourselves as one community with a river running through it. We don't look at it as two different countries.

Fade to image of American and Canadian flag joined together.

Text: (Canada-U.S. Enhanced Resiliency Experiment IV (CAUSE IV)) appears.

Cut to head shot interview with Jeff Brooks, Deputy Manager, Lambton County Emergency Medical Services, Canada.

Brooks: The CAUSE IV exercise is really an opportunity to experiment with some new technologies.

Fade to video of an ambulance driving out of a garage. Vehicles pass through the Lambton County and St. Clair County border crossing (Jeff Brooks voice-over continues).

And the goal is to build a network of communication, both data and potentially voice communication that will span the border, which will make interoperability function of emergency medical services and other emergency responders easier and more seamless across the international border.

Fade to head shot interview with Jeffrey A. Friedland.

Friedland: First is, it's weather-based. So early on a weather watch comes out.

Cut to video of both Canadian and American first responders and experts communicating via voice and data network and testing weather and emergency alert technology (Jeffrey A. Friedland voice-over continues).

We test a cross-border alert group, so the Canadians are aware of it. But as soon as a warning, weather warning takes place, now we're getting into details of weather spotters, what information they're calling in. When the Weather Service issues the warning, they do it in a polygon-type box. We're taking that right off the warning and going onto a map and automatically notifying our central dispatch that these are the sirens that need to be activated [sound of siren] within that area. So you won't have to sit and try to determine.

Fade to head shot interview with Jeffrey A. Friedland.

A tornado, we estimate will probably affect about four to six hundred homes in the county. So there'll be a flurry of social media activity.

Cut to head shot interview with Mark Wetering, Coordinator, Community Emergency Management, County of Lambton, Ontario, Canada.

Wetering: The digital volunteer program allows us to pull information from the public, who are posting on social media.

Cut to video of digital volunteers using Twitter and the online form to monitor for CAUSE (Mark Wetering voice-over continues).

So for the CAUSE experiment, they will be monitoring for CAUSE and be reporting in, using the online form, as well as communicating with us by email.

Cut to video of emergency operations staff viewing and analyzing data, and communicating with Ontario 211 (Jeff Friedland voice-over).

Friedland: We'll have our emergency operations staff in here. They'll be viewing the data. They'll begin making their decisions.

Cut to head shot interview with Jeffrey A. Friedland.

Having the ability to connect with 2-1-1, if we have an overload, whether it's in our 911 center or if it's in the emergency operations center, we can count on 2-1-1 to step in.

Cut to head shot interview with Jennifer Tanner, Project Manager, 211 Southwest Ontario, Canada.

Tanner: It's a phone number that people can call when they need information about community and social services or services provided by the government.

Cut to video of 211 staff communicating via phone with municipalities and using a GPS-enabled mapping and communication tool to conduct operations (Jennifer Tanner voice-over continues).

During an emergency, municipalities can tap into us as a resource and as a way to get information out to the public: What roads are closed, where's an emergency shelter located or how can I help with the victims of the emergency.

Cut to head shot interview with Jennifer Tanner.

So they can call 2-1-1 and get that sort of information. It really helps reduce non-emergency calls to 911.

Cut to head shot interview with Mark Wetering and then to video of 211 Ontario staff conducting their functions while science and technology experts observe (Mark Wetering voice-over)

Wetering: One of the key things that are important about 2-1-1 is that they can tell us what calls they're receiving and guide the emergency operations center in responding to residents.

Cut to head shot interview with Jeffrey A. Friedland.

Friedland: We're basically automating damage assessment, right from the citizen that fills out a form electronically.

Cut to video of CAUSE IV tracking, mapping, and assessment tool which allows responders to locate where damage occurred and perform damage assessments (Jeffrey A. Friedland voice-over continues).

It maps, it also goes to a more detailed form. It tells us where we need to send our damage assessment personnel. It prioritizes all the damage in the county. It will keep track of the number of homes destroyed, major damage, minor damage. It will have a dollar amount calculated at any given time.

Cut to head shot interview with Doug Socha, Manager, Paramedic Portfolio, Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science, Canada.

Socha: So last night there was a local warning that came out and it was a benzene release. The local authorities used their normal notifications, sirens were being sounded and officials within the CAUSE environment were obviously notified.

Cut to video of first responders from Lambton County and St. Clair County communicating via voice and data network using different mapping and tracking technology to study warning notifications (Doug Socha voice over continues).

And it was really interesting to look at the interaction and how the social media and the alerts and warnings came out, how the response was coming in from officials, as well as from the digital side.

Cut to head shot interview with Doug Socha.

Socha: CAUSE IV worked.

Fade to video of flowing water.

Text: (CAUSE is a collaboration among Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science, Public Safety Canada and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate).

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate logo and Canada Wordmark appear below the text.

Soft music fades out

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