Vancouver Can-TF1 is a Heavy Urban Search & Rescue (HUSAR) team and is one of four such teams across Canada (Can-TF1-Vancouver BC, Can-TF2-Calgary AB, Can-TF3-Toronto ON, and Can-TF4-Brandon MB) with another two planned (Can-TF5 Halifax NS and Can-TF6 Montreal QC).
In Canada, Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) refers to technical search and rescue skills used in the event of a disaster. These specialized skills play a critical role in a variety of emergency situations, including urban building collapses, mudslides, flooding, and forest fires, among other disasters. USAR is classified as light, medium or heavy capability based on the associated training requirements and equipment. “Heavy” Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) is the most technically specialized form of USAR.
‘D4H Is proud to support the Readiness of specialist teams like CAN-TF1 as well as supporting our other valued Canadian HUSAR clients Can-TF2 Calgary, Can-TF3 Toronto and Can-TF6 Montreal with our Readiness and Response Software solutions which we have designed to meet the need of these unique response teams’ Robin Blandford (D4H CEO).
Can-TF1 is a team made up of 120 members with medical, fire suppression, emergency response, search and rescue, and engineering backgrounds. Their members come from following organizations:
– City of Vancouver Engineering Department
– Vancouver Parks Board
The team is multi-disciplinary and integrates large amounts of technical equipment and diverse professional skills into demanding rescue scenarios. The main disciplines are categorized as;
Technical search team: The technical search team is the eyes and ears of the task force. Engineers and search technicians use specialized search cameras, sensitive acoustic detectors, and search dogs to find victims trapped in collapsed structures and debris.
Medical team: The medical team specialists and physicians care for rescued patients and task force members – an essential role while in the field.
Search and Rescue team: The search and rescue team rescues victims from collapsed structures and trenches; challenging, near-vertical environments; and swift-moving water. The team also prepares for and carries out the decontamination of large numbers of people.
Water Purification Team: This team has the capability to decontaminate and desalinate a water supply with the end result of having a clean water supply for human consumption.
Before deploying D4H Readiness and Response Software, Vancouver HUSAR already used a number of other software programs to manage their equipment, personnel and the administration of various other program activities.
This combination of multiple software solutions wasn’t meeting their specific needs as a specialist response team needed to ensure consistent operational and logistics readiness.
Although these systems may have worked independently, the team was faced with numerous information silos, which meant they could not cross reference certain pieces of key information without putting in a large number of administrative man hours to ensure they were maintaining management oversight.
They needed a single software program that could ensure they maintained both their Operational Readiness and Logistic Readiness while having the reporting power needed to provide management oversight of the HUSAR program.
Operational Readiness: As the Task Force, is a multi-disciplinary team of individuals specializing in heavy urban search and rescue, emergency triage and medicine. The issue of managing personnel and ensuring the availability of skilled members was a real challenge. Can-TF1 wanted D4H to make sure that they could know the availability of their personnel and the roles they can fill across all their rosters for months at a time.
Logistics Readiness: To respond efficiently, Can-TF1 must be able to mobilize specialized equipment with their personnel within hours of notification. D4H was told that everything should be approached with one goal in mind, efficient and rapid response to incidents. When the team sends equipment out of a warehouse, container or truck, they want a way to tell if it’s complete, ready and maintained. Whether equipment is required for a limited period or a more comprehensive response.
‘It has often been said that if something can go wrong, someday it will. And if we haven’t prepared for the possibility, the results can be devastating. That’s what readiness is all about for us here in Can-TF1. Logistics Readiness for us is the availability of equipment caches and other logistic resources to support our immediate deployment to incidents.’ Eric Barron (Acting Captain of HUSAR Logistics).
Management Oversight: Can-TF1 represents a partnership involving federal government (Public Safety Canada) and multiple municipal departments. The Federal investments in this HUSAR initiative is based on a cost-shared basis between Federal, Provincial and Municipal authorities. This means that the management of the task force is accountable for showing they spend money appropriately when it comes to maintaining that the team is ready for response and tracking the costs associated with their deployments for reimbursement. D4H was tasked with capturing large quantities of data around an activity that was traditionally difficult to evidence. The team Leadership knew that the best way to prepare for any future budget conversations was to know what’s going on with their team on any given day and have the data to prove it. There are no arguments against facts.
After a competitive tender process, The City of Vancouver decided to deploy D4H Readiness & Response software to effectively manage the HUSAR program.
Achieving Operational Readiness through Personnel Management: Now by utilizing the D4H Personnel management module, which is designed specifically to manage US&R task-force members training schedules; Can-TF1 can summarize the entire task-force down to a single green traffic light as ready-to-go. Program managers can keep an up-to-date list of task force members who are; Rostered, Trained and Deployable. They can now break down the experiences of their members and track number of members in the task force who have participated in and supported mobilization deployment exercises and supported training drills over a period.
The CAN -TF1 Cache is Always Ready for Tasking: The aim is to have a complete complement of cache equipment, ready for immediate deployment. The Implementation of the D4H Equipment management module ensures that for Can-TF1. The CAN-TF1 equipment cache is tracked, and with a transportation plan in place; the resources are always available for day to day operations, exercises, and deployments.
Management Reporting Provides Oversight: By implementing the D4H software, The City of Vancouver has ensured that as sponsoring agency of Can-TF1; it is offering a support function that plays a critical role in assisting the task force in achieving a high state of readiness. They have fulfilled their responsibility for providing efficient systems and processes. The Implementation of D4H Incident Reporting and Analytics module used in conjunction with the task forces day-to-day operations and deployments, allows the task force management to inform the cities Financial and Accounting Department and Public Safety Canada of their activity, as well as tracking expenditure using our cost recovery feature during events to ensure that funds have been adequately accounted for.
D4H Products Used by Can-TF1
D4H- Personnel & Training:
Managing a HUSAR team’s most expensive assets; their members and their certifications. CAN-TF1 depends on members from partner organizations as the backbone of the service they provide. We provide tracking that ensures these team members are trained and compliant with the standards and professional qualifications required for accreditation.
D4H - Equipment Management:
D4H equipment software provides the ability for CAN-TF1 to organize equipment repairs, retirement, service histories, weights, values, and inspections. Always ensuring equipment is ready to go for any tasking. Inherent in dangerous environments is the dependency on personal protective equipment, safety lines, and survival devices always being in good operating order. We ensure HUSAR equipment always works.
D4H - Incident Reporting & Analytics:
This software allows CAN-TF1 to create incidents which provide accountability of personnel, equipment and cost incurred. Recording all HUSAR operations in a common reporting format that allows teams to accurately assess costs to be able to recoup expenses post incident, assess value in course material. The incident report is updateable in the field to input all information relevant to the disaster from conditions to hazards. Proving their value when responding to lost & missing persons, and those trapped or injured in remote and hostile environments.
D4H Readiness & Response software is a cloud software solution used by over 70,000 of emergency responders around the world to professionally manage their incidents, personnel, and equipment.
D4H supports over 15 million hours of response data every year from terrorist attacks to natural disasters, from maritime emergencies to chemical spills. Learn more.