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(2016,
issue 3)
BY NICOLA DAVIES

Disaster response requires managing recovery operations aimed at reducing the impacts of disasters. A disaster site might contain several lingering threats, including dangerous chemicals, toxic materials, precarious rubble, human remains, and may still be in the throes of extreme conditions such as wildfires, floods, hurricanes, sink-holes, tornadoes, and winter storms.

(2016,
issue 2)
BY KEVIN HAMPSON

The world’s total forest area is just over 4 billion hectares, which corresponds to an average of 0.6 ha per capita (31% of the Earth’s total land mass), according to a 2010 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

(2016,
issue 2)
BY WARREN TKACHUK

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, in its 2007 Fire Prevention in Aboriginal Communities report: “Fire incidence rates for First Nations are 2.4 times higher than for the rest of Canada. First Nations residents are also 10 times more likely to die in a house fire. The victims are often young children.”

(2016,

 

The National Governors Association (NGA) today announced that five states – Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Utah and West Virginia – will participate in a policy academy on emergency communications interoperability.

“Interoperability” refers to how federal, state and local emergency responders communicate with each other by voice, data and video on demand and in real time. Interoperable emergency communications are essential to effective public safety, response and recovery operations in the wake of disaster.

(2016,

A wildfire in the hills of the Deodoro Region in Rio de Janeiro has raised some concerns for the Olympics. As the winds have been gaining strength, a close eye needs to be kept on this fire.

The men's and women's BMX events are to take place in these hills over the next few days. Nothing has been reported yet as to whether or not the events will be postponed or canceled due to the fire.

(2016,

The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, today issued the following statement after speaking at the Canadian Volunteer Fire Services Association annual general meeting:

Today I had the opportunity to extend my deep appreciation for the vital roles that volunteer fire fighters play in keeping Canadians safe. We recently experienced our volunteers’ determination and resiliency during the wildfire firefighting efforts in Fort McMurray this spring; their commitment to public service is remarkable.

(2015,
issue 1)
BY CHIEF RHEAUME CHAPUT and SCOTT DAVIS

EM-COP: the New Reality of First Responder ­Technologies

(2014,
issue 3)
BY NICOLA DAVIES

The mind is the most powerful tool we have at our disposal, and its abilities shouldn’t be taken for granted. Memories stored in our brain constitute a large part of who we are, and our long-term memory allows us to memorize not only facts, but also repetitive physical movements. This is known as muscle memory, or motor learning, a type of procedural memory that is developed by programming a specific motor task or movement into the brain’s memory through repetition.

(2014,
issue 3)
BY JACQUELINE CHARTIER
Why One Veteran Firefighter is Being Targeted By His Union

Providing adequate fire protection services for citizens in smaller municipalities throughout the vast Canadian landscape creates obvious financial challenges. In fact, many are currently looking at options to lessen the costs of providing all forms of emergency services. Most of these smaller towns and villages lack the resources to maintain a fire department comprised entirely of professional firefighters, as is the standard in major urban centres.

(2014,
issue 2)
BY LANCE VALCOUR and CHIEF JEFF BROOKS

Much activity and improvement in the realm of public safety communications interoperability have occurred since the horrific events of September 11th, 2001. One very promising area is that of wireless paramedicine, the ability to get paramedics, and the health community they support, the information they need when needed.

(2013,
issue 3)
BY PIERRE PORIER

First Responders strive to keep the public safe during emergencies. Such careers often put their own safety at risk, and yet we regularly hear ­stories of courage in the face of those ­perils.

(2013,
issue 3)
BY TIM DUNNE

The warning was unequivocal: Canadians must confront the steadily increasing numbers of technological traps, trip-wires and hazards that await the unprepared, the careless and the unaware.

In October, Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) president Tim Page opened SecureTech 2013, by describing Canada’s security environment. “Serious risks to pubic safety, threats to our eco systems, traditional way of life and national security challenges abound, and are growing in complexity, impact and cost.”

(2013,
issue 1)
BY MARC DUPUIS

Did you know there are more volunteer firefighters in Canada than there are full time firefighters? More than 127,000
volunteer firefighters
provide services, largely in rural and remote areas, across Canada. Most urban and larger fire ­services began as volunteer services – as the population of the area grew, so did the fire services need, and many of those ­volunteers eventually became full-time members. Volunteer departments are an absolute necessity in areas that cannot afford to staff a full-time department.

(2012,
issue 3)
BY ANDRE FECTEAU

It was one of those frosty January mornings in Saguenay, Quebec. The year was 2009, and almost 70 elderly people were shivering out in the cold as the walls of the now blazing seniors’ residence, Belle Génération, began to fall. Chances of saving the building looked slim.

(2012,
issue 2)
BY KEVIN WENNEKES

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Changing Culture in Changing Times
A fundamental culture shift is taking place among First Responders (police, fire, and emergency medical services personnel) as they seek to adopt and adapt the technology tools and applications that can affect all aspects of their ability to serve the communities they are sworn to protect.

(2012,
issue 1)
BY EDWARD R. MYERS
(2012,
issue 1)
BY EDWARD R. MYERS

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The Strategy for a National EMS Culture of Safety asserts that "Emergency medical service (EMS) provider organizations nationwide potentially expose patients, practitioners and members of the public to preventable risk of serious harm, in contrast with advances in safety practices that have been broadly implemented in many other healthcare settings in recent years."

(2012,
issue 1)
BY SEAN A. TRACEY

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The Canadian government expects 500,000 highway capable plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) on Canadian roads by 2018.

(2012,
issue 1)
BY ANDRE FECTEAU
(2011,
issue 4)
BY JACQUELINE CHARTIER
Leading a Modern Day Cavalry During Large-Scale Disasters

Fortunately, help was on the way. Well over 300 firefighters from more than 30 towns, cities and counties arrived to help battle nature’s inferno. Municipal officials were amazed and relieved. Mayor Karina Pillay-Kinnee remarked, “It was like the ­cavalry arrived.” More than 100 Alberta RCMP officers were also dispatched as part of the emergency response effort.

(2011,
issue 4)
BY EDWARD R. MYERS
Material Tragedy, Human Triumph

Mother Nature was on the warpath in 2011. From the beginning of January ‘till the end of December, there were hundreds of ­­calamities around the world – perhaps none so dramatic and ­­devastating as the ­Japanese earthquake/tsunami that struck in March.


An aerial view of Slake Lake Fire

(2011,
issue 4)
BY PATTI XENOS and DOUG ALLPORT

Because the snow prevented first responders from reaching their Emergency Operations Centres, they quickly established virtual operations, triggering ground and air ­rescue missions using their laptops and telephones. In the absence of situational awareness tools (SA), critical information was relayed between police, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) using telephone and email across several jurisdictions (Lambton County, Middlesex, Sarnia, St. Clair Township/County, Michigan) and between the Ontario Provincial Police, Canadian Forces and the utility companies.

(2011,
issue 4)
BY RICHARD BRAY
When Common Sense and Courage Are No Longer Enough

First responders are on the front lines of counter-terrorism. When terrorists attack, emergency services personnel have no choice but to react. That makes police, fire and medical personnel vulnerable to attackers that can strike anonymously, from a distance, with invisible weapons.

(2011,
issue 3)
BY CINDY HANNA

“In an emergency situation, we need be able to get a common operating picture quickly,” says Sampson. “Using the map feature on the tablet, I can view a satellite image of the site or even zoom-in to a street level view and assess the surrounding area before even arriving on scene.”

(2011,
issue 2)
A SOLUTIONS SHOWCASE

When it comes to providing the public safety system with all the resources it needs to protect the public and provide a secure and resilient community, all hands must be on deck to help. For all levels of government, this means creating policy that balances risk and public cost. For industries that have capabilities relating to public safety, this means being able to provide solutions that balance profitability and competitiveness.

(2011,
issue 2)
BY BLAIR WATSON

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Canada, Australia and the U.S. are the top three nations in terms of protecting forests and grasslands from fire. Advanced technologies have improved the effectiveness of the annual “war,” however, wildfires still cause considerable destruction. According to the Winnipeg-based Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC), there were 88,939 wildfires between 1999 and 2009 that caused destruction across almost 20 million hectares – an area equivalent to nearly one-fifth of Ontario.

(2011,
issue 1)
BY EDWARD R. MYERS

The face of public safety is changing because information and ­communications technologies are permitting First Responders to understand the environment facing them on a mission. For example, if firefighters or police had a complete picture of the event as they were about to respond, they would be better able to deal with the challenges once they arrive on scene. An EMS call could potentially save more lives, for instance, if the paramedics could send high resolution images of the injury to an attending but remote medical specialist.

James Arden Barnett
(2011,
issue 1)
BY EDWARD R. MYERS

An interview with Rear Admiral (Ret) James Arden Barnett, Chief, Federal Communications Commission,U.S. Bureau of Public Safety and Homeland Security,discussing the 700MHz bandwidth situation in the USA.

(2011,
issue 1)
BY TOM HOPPE

To make ground operations safer during a fire, the Kingston Fire and Rescue (KFR) department has implemented a 'Learning from Our Experiences' program that will share information between various crews within its organization. After all, safer operations on the ground during a fire means that all firefighters go home at the end of the call. The question is - will it work?


Kingston Fire Chief Harold Tulk.

(2010,
issue 3)
BY TYSON MACAULAY
Metrics-Based Assessment and Policy Indications

Most research into Critical Infrastructure Interdepen­dency (CII) is based upon ad hoc observations, anecdotes and partial incident-accounts which describe some but not all Critical Infrastructure (CI) sectors and their conditions after the incident. ­Metrics-based systems for understanding, mapping and modeling of CII have been evolving slowly.  

(2010,
issue 1)
BY EDWARD R. MYERS

If you talk to Alison Redford about what it takes to do her job as Alberta’s Attorney General, her answer isn’t what you would expect from the province’s top lawyer. Crime rates have eased since she was appointed in 2008 but Attorney General Redford would not attribute this success to any one development alone. And, she makes the point that getting tough on crime takes more than just getting tough – it takes getting smart.

(2010,
issue 1)
BY CRAIG S. GALBRAITH and CHRISTY DIFELICE

The range of highly advanced technology available to first responders is truly astounding. From cognitive radios to real-time field draw screens, record fire perimeters and 3-D personal tracking devices, first responder agencies are inundated with technological choices. Many of these technologies are being developed as spin-outs from defense contracts and grants. Others are entrepreneurial inventions targeted directly toward the primary response market. But what really are the needs of first responders?

(2009,
issue 4)
BY FRAN HAWTHORNE

With a syringe, Tostaine inflated a bulb at the end of the tube to open the trachea wider. Then he attached a valve mask – a sort of manual ventilator – and pumped it as Ken lay on the hospital stretcher. Ken’s chest visibly moved up and down.


SWAT Paramedic Training.

“That helped,” a voice said.

What? Was Ken able to talk already?

(2009,
issue 2)
BY GREG OULAHEN

There are people in Ontario who can’t sleep when it rains heavily at night because they have experienced a flooded basement too often. Homeowners in British Columbia are reminded of the fear and reality of ­losing their home and possessions each time they see televised images of uncontrolled wildfires in the U.S. and Australia. Many in the elderly and infirm population are nervous that summer heat waves may strain the electrical power system, threatening another disruptive blackout.

(2009,
issue 2)
BY DAVID GEWIRTZ

Highway 99, the Sea-to-Sky Highway, runs from ­Vancouver to Squamish along the Howe Sound on the way to Whistler, and is one of my favorite drives in all of North America. For 17 days this coming February, the Sea-to-Sky Highway is going to be swamped with millions of travelers traversing the 120 miles from Olympic venues in Vancouver to the slopes in Whistler.

(2009,
issue 1)
BY VINCE DUNN

As a new battalion chief, I wondered how I was supposed to size up a burning building if I had to stay outside at the command post. I was to set up a command post at the front of the fire building and be there if the deputy chief responded to the fire. My orders were to stay at the command post to give incoming units orders and to brief the deputy responding to the fire.

(2008,
issue 3)
BY LANCE VALCOUR

Have you ever found yourself, in an emergency, a few hundred yards away from a public safety colleague – police officer, fire fighter, or paramedic – yet unable to transmit vital information to him or her? It happens all too often. Radio systems, cell phones, PDAs, and other devices are not always configured, aligned or even designed to allow inter-agency communication. Often the communications are seriously limited by the available technology. At other times, the agencies lack the proper protocols, governance or knowledge of how to communicate with each other.

(2008,
issue 3)
BY JOHN BANTA

Is it possible for an unincorporated hamlet with a population of about 250 to establish and maintain a full-fledged volunteer fire department? In 1979, a group of forward thinking citizens in Fauquier, BC thought so, and the seed they planted 30 years ago has gone on to bear plentiful fruit.

(2008,
issue 2)
BY STEVEN DE LISI

Most firefighters today receive training that meets the objectives of the First Responder Operational level. Among the many tasks assigned to personnel at this training level are establishing scene control, initiating an incident management system, and performing defensive control functions and emergency decontamination procedures. Training involves classroom and hands-on skills to ensure students are fully capable of performing these and many more vital tasks necessary to ensure that the initial stages of a hazardous materials (hazmat) incident are handled safely and effectively.

(2007,
issue 3)
BY RON MEYERS

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA), and the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) as the lead Federal organization, in cooperation with other stakeholders, have begun to collaboratively develop the first Canadian national standard for personal protective equipment for first responders (fire, police, paramedic, and hospital first receivers) in the event of a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) incident.

(2007,
issue 2)
BY CLIVE ADDY
Idassa 2007 Croatia

IDASSA 2007 is the second Natural Disaster exercise that the Republic of Croatia, in cooperation with NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coord­ina­tion Centre (EADRCC), has organized on its territory. The majority of Croatian work for the exercise was organized and conducted by the National Protection and Reserve Directorate.


Croatioan Civil Protection Team on IDASSA exercise. (Photo: Dino Stanin)

(2007,
issue 2)
BY DOUG SILVER and CAROL-LYNN CHAMBERS

Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) teams are multi-disciplinary in nature. Personnel and equipment used by these teams can be deployed locally, provincially, and across Canada to provide the specialized search and rescue to free and recover trapped victims.


Toronto HUSAR team members work to remove heavy debris and secure safe positions within a collapsed structure.

(2006,
issue 3)
BY ANDRÉ FECTEAU

When the FedEx driver reported what he was carrying when he became involved in a car accident, people paid attention. His March 2, 2005 shipment included samples of anthrax, tuberculosis, E. coli, influenza and salmonella – all deadly viruses.

Editor's Corner
(2006,
issue 1)
BY CLIVE ADDY

I am very pleased to launch FRONTLINE SECURITY in the wake of the change in our national Government. One of the elements that we believe was called for in this change is a clearer and more knowledgeable debate of broader national security issues and their impact on our well-being and democratic society. Our magazine has been designed to offer such a national voice to this debate in a more security-conscious Canadian society. Just as Julian Fantino says of Emergency Preparedness in his interview in this issue, our own magazine is also “a work in progress.”