Provincial Resources for Hazmat/CBRNE Incident Response and HUSAR

Communiqué du commissaire des incendies

Provincial Resources for Hazmat/CBRNE Incident Response and HUSAR

Communiqué 2016-05

January 18, 2016

This communiqué supersedes Fire Marshal’s Communiqué 2004-03, issued January 21, 2004, and Fire Marshal’s Communiqué 2005-29, issued November 9, 2005. It provides updated information on fire departments accessing provincial resources when they may have to respond to emergencies that are beyond the capabilities of the local county/district/region mutual aid system and that fall within one of the following categories:

  • large-scale or complex natural or human-caused hazardous material (HAZMAT) incidents / chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE) incidents;
  • large-scale or complex natural or human-caused incidents requiring heavy urban search and rescue (HUSAR).

In this context, ‘provincial resources’ refers to the following:

  • provincial response teams operating under memorandums of understanding (MOU) with the Government of Ontario and available to respond to HAZMAT incidents and CBRNE incidents across the province
  • Under the MOU agreements, teams from the Windsor, Toronto and Ottawa fire departments are available to respond to these incidents at the technician level as set out in the latest edition of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 472, Standard for Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents.
  • Under the MOU agreements, teams from Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay, Peterborough, Cornwall, and Cambridge/Kitchener/Waterloo are available to respond to these incidents at the operations level as set out in the latest edition of NFPA Standard 472.
  • a provincial response team operating under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario, and available to respond to incidents across the province where heavy urban search and rescue are required
  • Under the MOU agreement, the HUSAR team is available to respond to these incidents at the technician level for structural collapse incidents, as set out in the latest edition of NFPA Standard 1670, Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents.
  • Equipment, expertise and services of the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM).

To access the provincial resources listed above, the mutual aid fire co-ordinator for the area needing assistance may contact the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC); the request will then be forwarded to the appropriate on-call OFMEM manager. The OFMEM will determine what assistance and which resources are appropriate to respond to the emergency. The OFMEM may in turn request specialized and/or technical expertise from the provincial response teams or from other sources in order to assist the fire department. When requesting the assistance of the provincial teams, the fire co-ordinator contacting the PEOC should provide information about the emergency incident in accordance with the fire co-ordinators’ field guide.

Please note that a municipality does not have to declare an emergency in order to contact the fire co-ordinator or the OFMEM for the purpose of requesting advice or assistance.

The PEOC may be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (416) 314-0472 or toll free at 1-866-314-0472.