Canadian and U.S. emergency management officials use simulated disaster scenario to test new communication technologies
November 16, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario
In line with Strong, Secure, Engaged, Canada’s new defence policy, the Government of Canada is committed to investing in capabilities that improve our ability to forecast threats and challenges. The ability to leverage opportunities, and act effectively and decisively in cooperation with our allies and partners is of paramount importance in keeping Canadians safe at home and abroad.
Home to the longest international border in the world, Canada and the United States (U.S) must be prepared to coordinate effective emergency responses in the event of disasters or other threats to safety and security.
In support of this, the Department of National Defence’s Centre for Security Science and the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate teamed up for the fifth time to conduct an experiment supporting emergency management officials and first responders. The Canada-U.S. Enhanced Resiliency Experiment series, known as CAUSE, took place on November 15th and 16th near the border between Lower Mainland, British Columbia, and Whatcom County, in the state of Washington.
Based on a fictional scenario involving a volcanic eruption and subsequent crater collapse, emergency responders and management officials from both nations were able to effectively improve situational awareness and communication of critical information necessary to better plan and execute a coordinated response to a potential incident affecting both sides of the border.
Emergency officials put their knowledge and skills to the test using cutting-edge information sharing technologies including unmanned aerial vehicles and public safety broadband networks. These networks are secure high-speed wireless data communications networks used by emergency responders and public safety personnel in emergency situations.
The CAUSE demonstration series provides participants with the opportunity to use a range of tools in a simulated environment, and determine how the technology and applications perform in different scenarios. Information gathered through these collaborative efforts is key to assessing the functionality and value of relevant technology, and enables the operational community to make improvements to emergency responses involving cross-border defence, public and safety and security operations.
“First responders work hard to keep Canadians safe and secure. During a crisis, emergency responders need to have access to the latest tools and technology in order to better coordinate and deliver a quick, efficient response. CAUSE is a valuable experiment that will help improve emergency responders’ safety and operational effectiveness on both sides of the border. We look forward to continuing to improve cross-border communication with our American counterparts.”
The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
“A key commitment for the Government of Canada is supporting the development of new tools and technologies that will help emergency management officials respond to and recover from disasters as safely and efficiently as possible. The lessons learned from the CAUSE series gives us valuable insight into the application of cutting-edge communication technologies that will benefit both Canadian and U.S. safety and security operations.”
Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister
“Some hazards, manmade or natural, know no borders. We share the world’s longest international border with Canada with a diverse terrain and weather conditions. When disaster strikes our borders, U.S. and Canadian first responders, and emergency managers need to be able to communicate and interoperate efficiently. The Canada-US Enhanced Resilience Experiment series has proven that the collaboration we have in these areas is valuable and necessary. DHS S&T is committed to work in the R&D space to give our responders the tools and the technology they need so they are better protected, connected and full aware while saving lives and property. “
William N. Bryan, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate
CAUSE V is a collaborative effort between the Department of National Defence’s Centre for Security Science, Public Safety Canada, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, in conjunction with various partners, including local emergency responders and supporting federal agencies and departments within British Columbia and Washington State.
This demonstration provides participants with opportunity to use various tools in a simulated setting to learn how technologies such as radio, telecommunication and social media systems perform under different emergency scenarios. This information will help assess the functionality and value of the technology, determine potential improvements for operational use, and identify the procedures and training needed to maximize effective use.
Spanning almost 9,000 km, the Canada-U.S. border is the longest international border in the world; it represents more than three times the distance between Paris, France and Moscow, Russia. The Canada-U.S. border touches eight Canadian provinces and territories and 13 U.S. states.
Department of National Defence
Public Safety Canada
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