Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

October 19, 2007 10:38 ET

Experts and First Responders Work Together in Biological Incident Exercise

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 19, 2007) - On October 18 and 19, a team of federal science and technology (S&T) experts, as well as members of operational and first responder communities from across all levels of government, participated in the largest and most realistic multi-jurisdictional bioterrorist field exercise ever held in Canada. This provided a valuable learning experience to assist in the development of a more efficient and coordinated response to an emergency situation involving a zoonotic agent.

The exercise, which was sponsored by the Government of Canada's Chemical, Biological, Radiological-Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Research and Technology Initiative (CRTI), was held in Delta, British Columbia.

"The Corporation of Delta is pleased to be a part of the Federal Government CRTI Bi-Ex West Exercise Project," said Her Worship Lois Jackson, Mayor of the Corporation of Delta. "The Corporation takes emergency management and emergency preparedness very seriously and sees this integrated exercise as an excellent opportunity to evaluate and improve Delta's emergency plans, and communication with regional, provincial and federal support agencies."

"This exercise is an example of various levels of government working together to protect the safety of Canadians," said Dr. Paul Kitching, Director of the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and co-chair of the CRTI biology cluster. "The personal contacts established and lessons learned during this exercise are critical to improving all aspects of emergency preparedness"

This exercise involved the collaboration of six federal departments and agencies, as well as provincial and municipal partners. Federal participants included the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Defence Research and Development Canada, Department of National Defence, Public Health Agency of Canada, Public Safety Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Provincial participants include BC Ministry of Health, BC Coroner's Service, BC Ambulance Service, BC Centre for Disease Control, BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, BC Provincial Emergency Program, and the Fraser Health Authority. Participants from the municipality include The Corporation of Delta's Mayor's Office and Chief Administrative Officer, Emergency Program, Fire, Police, Engineering, Parks Recreation & Culture, Emergency Social Services and Amateur Radio Volunteers.

CRTI enhances Canada's ability to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from CBRNE incidents through new investments in science and technology. It is led by the Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) Centre for Security Science (CSS), a joint endeavour with Public Safety Canada to provide S&T services and support to address national public safety and security objectives. The CSS's capabilities lie in leading and administering networks and research, development, testing and evaluation of technologies, and identifying future trends and threats. A network of national and international S&T partners has also been established within the public safety and security communities.

DRDC, an agency within the Department of National Defence, is comprised of a seven research centres located across Canada. The Agency works in collaboration with private industry, allied forces, academia and other government departments to respond to the needs of the Canadian Forces.

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