Government of Canada conducts train derailment exercise to improve collaboration and response capabilities

News Release

March 12, 2016 – Maple Ridge, British Columbia

On March 12 and 13, 2016, Transport Canada and Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), an agency of the Department of National Defence (DND), will conduct Exercise Vulcan to improve Canada’s response capabilities in the event of an incident involving a train carrying flammable liquids, such as crude oil.

Rail operators, industry responders, remedial experts, as well as first responders from the Lower Mainland and Thompson-Okanagan regions of British Columbia, will take part in this two-day, full-scale hands-on exercise. This is one of many ongoing activities supported by the Government of Canada to improve response capabilities following the Lac-Mégantic train derailment. Ultimately, the lessons learned from this exercise will help shape the development of future training curriculum for emergency responders across Canada.

On the first day, firefighters will be asked to conduct a thorough site assessment. They will work with industry partners and explore how best to deal with a fire involving flammable liquids. They will also learn about the different types of equipment and resources available from industry partners for this type of incident. On the second day, they will put their skills and knowledge to the test in a full-scale field exercise simulating a rail incident resulting in a large spill and fire involving a flammable liquid.


“First responders play a crucial role in responding to a railway incident, especially when dangerous goods are involved. Their swift action in a rail emergency can help to reduce the impact of an incident and keep the communities they serve safe. My department remains committed to supporting communities along Canada’s rail corridors and recognizes the real-world value that these exercises provide.”
Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport

“Through Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), the Department of National Defence supports projects and activities that give Canada the knowledge and technology advantage needed to defend and protect Canadian interests at home and abroad. Exercise Vulcan provides municipal responders with a unique opportunity to work with federal and industry experts to improve response capabilities, bringing benefits to their local communities. I’m proud to support these efforts through the DRDC-led Canadian Safety and Security Program.”
Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister

“As the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, I feel our government has no greater responsibility than ensuring the safety and security of its citizens. Ensuring that first responders and industry experts have the tools and training they need is an important part of ensuring effective response and recovery efforts in responding to disasters, including rail incidents. This is why Public Safety Canada, in partnership with Defence Research and Development Canada, proudly supports projects and training exercises such as Exercise Vulcan, through the Canadian Safety and Security Program.”
Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“The events of July 6, 2013, at Lac-Mégantic have opened a lot of people’s eyes. Flammable liquids transported by rail or by road have been increasing every year and fire/emergency services must respond to a growing number of calls and to situations previously unknown to them. The implementation of this exercise will give us an opportunity to further our knowledge of flammable liquids, of the best response techniques, of how to work safely at a derailment site, and, more importantly, of how to work in a common command system so that all responders can speak the same language and understand each other.”
Denis Lauzon, Fire Chief, Lac-Mégantic

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Transport Canada

Jordan Owens
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence

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Hon. Marc Garneau Transport Canada Transport

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