How Vancouver CAN-TF1 (HUSAR) Boosts Their Readiness with D4H
Operational readiness was key for CAN-TF1 when they began looking for a software solution to help them track their personnel, equipment, and incidents.
Vancouver CAN-TF1 is a Heavy Urban Search & Rescue (HUSAR) team. In Canada, HUSAR teams consist of up to 120 members with medical, fire suppression, emergency response, search and rescue, and engineering backgrounds.
CAN-TF1 rescues victims from major structural collapses and other hazards. It is one of four heavy urban search and rescue teams able to deploy anywhere in Canada. 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;
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, CAN-TF1 was using a number of software programs to manage their equipment, personnel and the administration of various other program activities. The team was faced with numerous information silos, which meant they could not cross-reference key pieces of information without putting in a large number of administrative hours.
‘‘It has often been said that if something can go wrong, someday it will. And if we’re not prepared, the results could be devastating. 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, CAN TF-1.
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.
Logistics Readiness: To respond efficiently, CAN-TF1 needed to 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 needed a way to ensure that it would be ready and maintained.
Management Oversight: CAN-TF1 represents a partnership involving the federal government and multiple municipal departments. The Federal investments in this HUSAR initiative is based on a cost-shared basis between Federal, Provincial and Municipal authorities. The management of the task force is accountable for showing that money is spent appropriately when it comes to maintaining the team and tracking the costs associated with their deployments for reimbursement. 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.
D4H Personnel & Training enables CAN-TF1 to 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; on-call, 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.
D4H Equipment Management ensures they have a complete complement of cache equipment, ready for immediate deployment. 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.
The Implementation of D4H Incident Reporting and Analytics 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.