Ontario Invests in Specialized Disaster Search and Rescue Teams

New Funding For First Responders Will Help Keep Communities Safe

August 07, 2019

Solicitor General

PETERBOROUGH — Ontario’s government is keeping communities safe by investing $2.5 million for municipal Urban Search and Rescue, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive, and Hazardous Materials teams in six municipalities across the province. 

“When disaster strikes, Ontario families need to have confidence that help is on the way. That’s why we’re providing communities across the province with funding to respond quickly and effectively to large-scale and complex emergencies,” said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. “First responders put their lives on the line each and every day to protect us. That’s why we are committed to providing these brave men and women with the tools they need to keep our communities and our families safe.”

Our government’s investments will:

  • Provide funding for teams with specialized rescue skills to help when people are trapped in collapsed structures, assist with life-saving operations and provide immediate medical assistance to survivors;
  • Provide funding for teams responding to incidents involving the uncontrolled release of chemicals, biological agents, radioactive and nuclear contamination or explosions that cause widespread damage; and
  • Enhance the province’s ability to respond to provincial emergencies and lead educational and training programs to improve emergency response. 

When emergencies happen, local first responders are on the scene. When additional or more technical resources are required, the fire marshal coordinates and activates these specialized teams to assist local authorities. We are pleased the government is providing these teams with new and increased funding to help them better protect the communities they serve,” said Jon Pegg, Ontario’s Fire Marshal and Chief of Emergency Management.  

Quick Facts

  • The government’s investments will support 10 specialized teams in North Bay, Ottawa, Peterborough, Thunder Bay, Toronto and Windsor.
  • These emergency response teams are operated by their municipalities and support provincial efforts through an agreement with the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management.
  • Today’s investments support initiatives that respond to recommendations made by the Elliot Lake inquiry.

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Media Contacts

Marion Isabeau-Ringuette
Office of the Solicitor General

Andrew Morrison
Communications Branch