Successful Integrated Emergency Response Exercise conducted at CFB Suffield

News release

September 7, 2018 – Ralston (Alberta) – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Ensuring the safety and security of Canadians at home and abroad is a top priority for the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). This includes providing the tools, expertise and equipment needed to ensure the safety and security of our personnel here at home, in our offices and on our bases and wings.

In support of this objective, on Wednesday, September 5, at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Suffield, defence scientists from Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) Suffield led a successful integrated training exercise aimed at testing and updating emergency response procedures.

The Integrated Emergency Response Exercise brought together scientists from DRDC Suffield, specialists from CFB Suffield including 1 Field Ambulance, 1 Military Police Regiment, medics from the British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS), and Alberta Health Services paramedics to respond to a simulated explosion in one DRDC Suffield’s buildings.

During this training scenario, base civilian and military emergency specialists put their skills to the test to assess and address the simulated emergency. Partners from Alberta Health Services evacuated simulated casualties by road and air, using a HALO helicopter [medivac]. Exercise participants also had the opportunity to test CAF and civilian equipment and procedures dealing with chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive (CBRNE) agents, by using low-levels of radiation to simulate a more dangerous scenario.  

The advanced-level of this joint training effort helps improve DND, CAF and partner capabilities, while testing and confirming procedures in responding to emergency situations. Testing joint procedures, capabilities and equipment through experiments like this helps to mitigate risks and save lives during real-life CBRN incidents. 


“At the DRDC Suffield Research Centre, our research focusses on the areas of chemical, biological, radiological, explosive and autonomous platform threats. While all of our work is conducted in accordance with appropriate safety protocols, we recognise the need for our personnel to understand their first responder roles, should something go wrong. This Emergency Response Exercise allows for the assessment of technologies and tactics that would be employed in response to a real accident. This is essential to ensure everyone understands their role, and can communicate with other responders in a timely fashion in order to mitigate or prevent injuries.”

Dr. C. John Anderson, A/Centre Director, DRDC Suffield Research Centre

Quick facts

  • The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces seek to provide the most realistic training possible for personnel and military members, because credible training is key to conducting successful military operations. 

  • Training is part of the military’s regular activities to maintain the skills required for Canadian Armed Forces operations and activities.

  • Realistic training scenarios provide meaningful opportunities for the development and evaluation of Canadian Armed Forces members.

  • DRDC provides the Department of National Defence, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), and other government departments, as well as public safety and national security communities, with the knowledge and technological advantage needed to defend and protect Canada’s interests at home and abroad.

  • DRDC Suffield Research Centre is co-located with Canadian Forces Base Suffield, near Ralston, Alberta, approximately 50 km west of Medicine Hat. The base was established in 1941 as a joint Canada/UK experimental station for chemical and biological research. In addition to DRDC, the base is home to members of the Canadian Armed Forces as well as to members of the British Army Training Unit Suffield, also known as BATUS. 

Associated links


CFB Suffield Public Affairs
Department of National Defence
Phone: 403-544-4405

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