The government’s decision to award a $2.8-billion contract to Airbus Defence & Space for 16 new C295W fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft (FWSAR) for the Royal Canadian Air Force is being challenged in Federal Court by Team Spartan, the group of companies which had offered the C-27J Spartan.
In one of my early columns, I made the point in that FrontLine needs to look at keeping the general population safe and secure more broadly than we had in the past. Food safety, for example, is important and not just from the perspective of bio-terrorism threats. The animal connection to safety and security was addressed in a prior issue. Manufacturers of safety and security equipment also play an important role through their equipment research and development. Future issues of FrontLine will look at aviation safety and more.
Police analytics can be extremely valuable in the fight against terrorism and crime. By identifying which events are most likely to escalate, predictive techniques can both improve prevention capability and control costs by deploying officers before escalation and where they are needed most.
Police analytics has been gaining more and more attention (which means FrontLine readers will see more on this topic in future editions). When the Ottawa Police Services began looking into it, they identified some 150 police analytics centers in the United States alone.
As the complexity and reach of global threats continues to increase, the demands on public safety and first responders are also growing.
Recent reports – including studies by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and public safety organizations around the world – have confirmed that first responders want timelier mission-critical information to decrease response times and detect and mitigate threats before they happen. Interestingly, this is similar to what militaries around the world need for the battlefield.
The Canadian Association of Security and Intelligence Studies (CASIS) recently held a Symposium entitled “The Cyber Challenge.” Although the speakers focused on the national and international, and non-criminal aspects of the threat, the implications for those on the front lines of public safety are unmistakable.
Providing information that will help our frontline responders keep us safer and more secure is the overriding objective of FrontLine Safety and Security. To this end, I am always on the lookout for ideas, research, and other materials that can be presented to our readers. In our Winter edition of the magazine, we will be focusing on police analytics.
Most security people are not aware that one of the leading gateways for hackers to attack their cyber systems is through their own physical security systems, especially their wired cameras or contactless card access control systems. Let’s look at the latter.
Are innovations making cities safer as they get smarter? At a recent conference entitled ‘Smart Cities: Shaping the Future’, held in the United Kingdom, experts from all over the world shared their stories of how technology is being applied in their cities to create a safer environment.
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.
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.
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.”
There is a war going on in South Africa. It doesn’t, for the most part, involve armies or large battles, but it is a tough, dirty and vicious war nonetheless. Special forces, intelligence gathering, air operations, dog teams, covert surveillance, crime scene management, and many other experts are involved in this war, and at the forefront are the rangers of the national and private parks and the hunting and game reserves.
Securetech, the public safety, emergency management and security trade show and conference organized by the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI), has been cancelled for 2016.
"After extensive consultations with our members, we have decided that, at the present time, our annual security conference and trade show, Securetech, is not meeting the needs and demands of the industry and will not be held in its current form in 2016," said CADSI President Christyn Cianfarani.
The Government of Canada has launched its public consultation to engage with Canadians on the evolving cyber security landscape.
Until mid-October this year, the Government of Canada will be engaging and consulting with Canadians about the trends and challenges of cyber security. Topics will include the evolution of the cyber threat, the increasing economic significance of cyber security, the expanding frontiers of cyber security, and Canada’s way forward on cyber security.
Airbus Helicopters has received EASA certification for the Rig’N Fly (Rig Integrated GPS approaches with eNhanced Fly-ability and safetY), an avionics enhancement designed to provide automatic rig approaches for offshore operations. First developed on the H225 helicopter, it will also be implemented on the H175 (end 2016) and on the H160.
Airbus Defence and Space is designing and building a new constellation of optical satellites, comprising four identical and very agile sensors delivering very high-resolution imagery. The highly responsive dual VHR constellation will offer state-of-the art service to the Airbus Defence and Space imagery user’s community for the next decade.
General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada has officially launched four new public safety and security solutions that provide first responders around the world with integrated mission-critical communications systems that will help save lives.
Built on the company’s SHIELD Ecosystem, these turn-key, fully integrated solutions provide interoperable fixed and mobile digital communications to ensure the right information is available at the right time.
For instance, during some winter test flights near Quebec City, Dr. George Leblanc and his team discovered a new and unexpected ability to get important data from recently disturbed snow.
Securetech 2015, the public safety, emergency management and security trade show and conference organized by the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI), is moving to Ottawa’s EY Centre, home to the Association’s highly successful annual CANSEC defence trade show.
Q: What new and interesting things can we expect at this year’s conference/showcase?
Public safety, in most western nations, is a multi-agency challenge. Police, fire, paramedic, specialty rescue as well as specialty hazard units exist in various configurations at the municipal, provincial or state, and federal levels.
It’s all over the news. Riots in the streets and increased tensions with police shootings. Debates about use-of-force are in the limelight, and law enforcement departments are being scrutinized for how they train officers for such scenarios. The limited availability of range time, the expense of range facility maintenance, the cost of live ammunition, and a technological evolution in training options have forced agencies to admit that simulated training has become as a more practical and cost-effective option.
When four Alberta Mounties were gunned down on a farm just outside the small town of Mayerthorpe in March 2005, it sent shock waves through the RCMP. A fatalities inquiry in 2011 concluded that there was no way such an event could have been foreseen. A decade later, however, some observers say the RCMP still haven’t learned the lessons of Mayerthorpe – even after the similar tragedy in Moncton in June of 2014. These two tragic incidents have become intertwined, both indicative of the inertia that exists when it comes to making changes within the RCMP.
Right on the heels of the Independent Review into the Moncton Shooting, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) suffered another violent gun attack on their stretched line of operational officers – this time near Edmonton – killing Const. David Wynn, and seriously injuring an unarmed Auxiliary officer.
The so-called “hard” landing of an Air Canada A320 Airbus on final approach to Runway 05 at Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ), on March 28th, has called into question airport emergency response capabilities at the airport, and the larger issue of provision of navaids to strengthen international aviation safety.
(February 2009) The Canadian Society for Senior Engineers (CSSE) ranks the various Canadian Aerospace program areas, and makes strong recommendations to the Government of Canada. Included among them is a call to increase R&D funding in these areas.
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.
Those of us who live in Western Canada appreciate the traditional spirit of community service that permeates life in the Prairie provinces. One good example is the Shock and Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS) organization, a non-profit helicopter air ambulance service that provides rapid and specialized emergency care and transportation for critically ill and injured patients. The service’s physicians, nurses, paramedics, and pilots work with a team of dedicated support staff and community partners to save lives.
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.
The United States National Guard serves as a state-federal reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces. Its 450,000 soldiers and airmen serve as “citizen soldiers” – deploying both overseas and domestically, while maintaining full-time civilian professions. With experience in a wide range of operational environments, from Afghanistan and Iraq to post-Hurricane Katrina disaster response, the National Guard has proven instrumental in achieving objectives set both by state and federal authorities.
Great progress has been made since 2007 when Frontline Security first reported on radar surveillance technology designed for use in the homeland by public safety organizations, whose responsibilities include border security, search and rescue, transportation security, and law enforcement.
Typical radar node.
The current generation of simulator is a technological marvel – putting lone officers or groups into a selection of the hundreds of realistic, interactive, video-based scenarios created to confront a range of threats with a variety of resource options. Training systems can be packed into one travel case for delivery to remote locations, and set up in a matter of minutes for training or qualifying.
The soaring appeal of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) is undeniable. Whether autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or remotely-piloted vehicles (RPVs) in fixed-wing or rotorcraft configurations, the technologies enable the public and private sectors to dramatically reduce costs. Their military value has been demonstrated in Afghanistan, and other public-sector uses such as law enforcement, forest fire surveys and environmental monitoring are proving equally effective.
Questions are being asked – yet again – about the federal government’s procurement processes after it was confirmed that Bell Helicopter Textron Canada (BHTC) of Mirabel, Quebec, has effectively been sole-sourced to supply one fleet of Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) light-lift helicopters, despite an ongoing lawsuit, and is likely to be awarded the contract to renew a second medium-lift CCG helicopter fleet.
The current generation of simulator is a technological marvel – putting lone officers or groups onto realistic firing ranges or into a selection of the hundreds of interactive, video-based scenarios to confront a range of threats with a variety of resource options. Training systems can be packed into one travel case for delivery to remote locations, and set it up in a matter of minutes for training or qualifying.
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.
Across the vast expanse of the Arctic coast, on Great Slave Lake and in the Mackenzie Delta, boaters in distress look to members of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (CCGA) for assistance. In the Northwest Territories, the all-volunteer CCGA has units in Aklavik, Inuvik, Yellowknife, Hay River, Fort Resolution, Fort Chipewyan and Fort McMurray. In Nunavut, the eastern Arctic, CCGA units are in Cambridge Bay, Rankin Inlet and Pangnirtung.
At the January 2012 Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Sea Power Conference in Sydney, Admiral Maritime Datuk Mohd Amdan bin Kurish, Director General Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), gave a presentation on Maritime Cooperation in the Malacca Strait. Describing the relationship between Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, Admiral Kurish stressed the need for: trust, information sharing and interoperability among the countries.
The morning view is always spectacular as I head out to my 4.5-ton Mercedes G-wagon (armoured vehicle) for the start of another work day. The area where I stand, a fairly flat plateau at 1250 metres above sea level, is surrounded by mountain peaks that are now covered in snow.
Sgt. Sadler mentors ANP officers on course.
As the Canadian government’s largest employer – with a man- date for the Defence of Canada and possessing a wide array of high-technology equipment, weapons and sensitive information holdings – the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Forces (CF) are prime targets for espionage and other hostile activities from individuals, groups and organizations.
The scandal surrounding the flirtatious e-mails from MP Bob Dechert, a parliamentary secretary to Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, to the Xinhua News Agency Toronto bureau chief appears to have awakened the Canadian public – and it is hoped, officials – to the risks of greater engagement with China. However...
Canada and the United Kingdom both enforce similar export regulations through the Controlled Goods Directorate (CGD) and the Export Control Organisation (ECO). Domestic laws restricting exports are known as “Export Control” (EC). A broad range of commercial goods, including certain off-the-shelf valves, gauges, electronics, computers, optics, sensors, software, and other items of a seemingly commercial nature are EC-regulated. Many of these items do not have to be solely of U.S. origin to be subject to ITAR/EC.
Similar to most threats to our public safety and national security, port security involves fundamental principles for staying safe from either natural disruptions or actions by criminals and terrorists. Response, Recovery and Resilience are well known common principles upon which to structure the security of ports, build programs and develop systems to suit the specific environment.
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.
Our hearts go out to all these people, and we want to help. Often, we tweet $10 to the Red Cross or write a check to our favourite charity; this is valuable help and indicative of a community of caring coming together.
Red Cross volunteer out in New Jersey.
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.
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.
Can a local university make a significant difference in regional first responder and homeland security efforts? The answer is yes – if done right. Universities often have the reputation (sometimes deserved, sometimes not) of being intellectually and physically distant from the surrounding community, the classic “ivory tower” analogy. This is somewhat understandable since the historical dual-pronged mission of higher education institutions is to first, educate our post-secondary students, and second, contribute to the continuously expanding body of scholarly knowledge.
Terrorism financing is a global problem requiring effective and coordinated solutions at the national, regional and multilateral levels. Fighting it, however, is costly; and measuring success is challenging.
A year ago, Lieutenant Mike Parker, Unit Commander of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) EBD Unit presented a seminar on Education-Based Discipline (EBD) at the Justice Institute of British Columbia. The concept of education-based discipline challenged every notion of workplace discipline that had been ingrained in me during my 20 years in public safety and security.
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?
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?
The 21st century has kicked off with a bang and opened the gates to an interconnected world where domestic and international borders are increasingly blurred. The last decade has witnessed the rise of transnational security threats posed by violent non-state actors, pandemics, climate change, ballooning economies, strains placed upon strategic, non-renewable energy resources, and significant technological advancements.
An ice storm strands thousands without access to power or heat. As home temperatures drop, authorities are stretched to the limit and turn to the local volunteer Search and Rescue (SAR) team to check on house-bound residents. But some SAR team members are unable to assist because they must look after their own families who don’t have heat in their own homes, and others can’t be reached because the automated pager system is down.
Q:As Chief Operating Officer responsible for the security 2010 Games, what is the scope and role of your challenge as you see it since your arrival in November 2007?
Reading the latest Report on Emergency Preparedness in Canada from the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, one cannot help but feel the Committee’s frustration, anger and foreboding. While their observations can be sarcastic and glib, they have certainly earned the right to be so.
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.
The intelligence needed to support our national security interests, is becoming increasingly difficult to acquire. Today, national security intelligence has to be developed in a complex and uncertain world where the rate of change in the external environment makes past experience of increasingly questionable value.
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.
It’s on CNN
Watching a recent CNN video of a staged Cyber attack showing a large turbine generator self destructing, may have caused some to dismiss the story as yet another attempt to sensationalize and shock an increasingly desensitized TV audience. As the report unfolds, however, one learns that the video was created by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in a training experiment, code named Aurora. It’s time to pay closer attention.
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.
Natural disasters can strike with little or no notice, causing large numbers of casualties and devastating local infrastructure. Impacts may include widespread power outages, road closures that block emergency response efforts, building collapses and structure fires. As the Commissioner of Community Safety for Ontario and a former Deputy Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, I know that within moments of a natural disaster striking, response resources and management systems can be stressed to the limit.
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.
Set between the Rhone River and the “Parc Tete d’Or” in Lyon, France – about an hour’s drive southwest of the Swiss border – is a rather unique looking building. As some of its security features become visible to the casual passer-by, including marked police vehicles and uniformed officers at the entrance, some might wonder what purpose it serves.
The General Secretariat in Lyon, France, serves as Interpol headquarters.
Advances in the ability of scientists to predict severe weather disturbances and natural disasters will not protect the public if warnings don’t get out. That message was recently delivered by Dr. Ian Rutherford, executive director of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS), to Canada’s broadcast regulator. He recounted how newly acquired Doppler radars have doubled the technologically possible warning time for tornadoes since one touched down in Edmonton in 1987 when he was in charge of the Alberta city’s weather service.
The scene: Just before 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 17, 2006, Mother Nature wreaks havoc with snow, rain, wind, and a flash freeze just east of Ottawa, near the town of Embrun. Driving conditions are terrible, but Highway 417 is busy, as usual. Suddenly, fierce winds create whiteout conditions and vehicles start crashing into each other, with some cars getting stuck under tractor-trailers.