Communities across Ontario – including Windsor – will be getting millions in funding from the province to create specialized disaster search and rescue teams.
The Ontario Government made the announcement Wednesday, which includes $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.
$450,000 of funding will be provided to Windsor. $300,000 will support a new Urban Search and Rescue Team and $150,000 will support an existing Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive Team.
According to a news release, the funding 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.
It will also he ensure first responders are equipped to respond to incidents involving the uncontrolled release of chemicals, biological agents, radioactive and nuclear contamination or explosions that cause widespread damage.
"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."
“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,” says Jon Pegg, Ontario's Fire Marshal and Chief of Emergency Management. “We are pleased the government is providing these teams with new and increased funding to help them better protect the communities they serve.”
The investment will support 10 specialized teams in North Bay, Ottawa, Peterborough, Thunder Bay, Toronto and Windsor. The government says the initiative is in response to recommendations made by the Elliot Lake inquiry.