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Trilium Response 2008

Archived Backgrounder

Trilium Response 2008


Ministry of the Solicitor General

Trillium Response is a multi-jurisdictional disaster response exercise developed by Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) and the Canadian Forces. It will simulate a large-scale ice storm taking place in northwestern Ontario starting on November 17 and escalating over the following week. The exercise will test the province's ability to respond to a full-scale emergency.

Exercise Trillium Response will draw on the expertise of more than 1,500 participants from the provincial and federal governments, 25 municipalities and three First Nations communities, the province of Manitoba and non-governmental organizations. This includes 1,000 members of the Canadian Forces.


"One of Canada Command's primary roles is providing civil and humanitarian aid in times of disaster," said Commander of Joint Task Force Central Brigadier-General John Collin. "The Canadian Forces will assist the province for this exercise because on any given day, we stand ready to help Canadians in times of need."
"We are pleased to be the host city for this exercise," said Thunder Bay Mayor Lynn Peterson. "As the regional hub, it is essential that Thunder Bay and surrounding communities be prepared for all types of emergency situations. The coming exercise will be a highly beneficial test of our resources and skills in the event of a real disaster."
"We are all about being well prepared," said Chief of Emergency

Management Ontario

Dan Hefkey. "Working with a range of local and federal agencies in exercises like Trillium Response helps us all to learn valuable lessons. Ontarians expect the people who manage emergencies to do everything to be well prepared. We are meeting that expectation with this exercise."


Emergency Management Ontario
EMO is a branch of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. Through effective partnerships, it leads the coordination, development and implementation of prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery strategies to maximize the safety and security of Ontarians.

Mobile 1
EMO's Mobile Emergency Operations Centre, or Mobile 1, is a state-of-the art mobile emergency response vehicle equipped with communications and support equipment. Mobile 1 can provide communities with a mobile facility for the coordination of local response efforts. In addition, it can supply power and full communications support to a municipal or ministry Emergency Operations

Centre or Emergency Information Centre in the event that conventional communications are not available.

Provincial Emergency Operations Centre

Located in Toronto and staffed at all times, the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) continually monitors emerging and ongoing situations inside and outside of Ontario. This ensures key decision-makers and provincial resources (http://webx.newswire.ca/click/?id=11324177eed56ce) are able to respond as quickly as possible.
The key function of the PEOC is to coordinate the Ontario government response to major emergencies, including providing a single point of contact for municipalities and First Nations for provincial emergency assistance.

Office of the Fire Marshal

The Office of the Fire Marshal (http://www.ofm.gov.on.ca/english/default.asp) (OFM) provides assistance to Ontario fire services for large-scale events and emergencies involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, explosive (CBRNE), hazardous materials (HAZMAT) and Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR). It assists fire service leaders in risk management and decision-making.

A key component of the overall Trillium Response exercise, Trillium Assist, is coordinated by the OFM and will involve elements of its CBRNE, HAZMAT and HUSAR programs. The OFM's Mobile Satellite/Operational Support Unit provides state-of-the-art satellite and related communications, real-time research and other support capabilities and will take part.

Ontario Provincial Police's Provincial Emergency Response Team
The Provincial Emergency Response Team (PERT) consists of 28 highly trained officers prepared to respond to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats and urban search and rescue incidents. The team also provides support to other specialized Ontario Provincial Police units.

PERT assists other provincial and municipal agencies, such as the OFM, in emergency planning and mitigation for large-scale disasters and major events.

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care's Emergency Medical Assistance Team
Ontario's Emergency Medical Assistance Team consists of a self-sufficient 56-bed acute and intermediate care mobile field unit. It provides support when the health-care system in a community is overwhelmed in a local emergency, and can be dispatched within 24 hours anywhere in Ontario with road access. EMAT is staffed by a group of volunteer emergency medical professionals who are specifically trained to respond to major health emergencies.

The team operates with its own medical equipment and supplies, a communications centre, electricity and water. The EMAT is funded by the province and deployed at the request of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
EMAT is operated by Ornge, a charitable organization that operates one of the largest and most sophisticated programs of transport medicine in North America. Ornge performs approximately 18,000 admissions annually and coordinates all aspects of Ontario's aero medical transport system, the new critical care land transport program, and the authorization of air and land ambulance transfers between hospitals. Ornge is dedicated to the provision of high quality patient care through innovative transport medicine.

The Canadian Forces, through Canada Command, provides civil and humanitarian assistance to Canadians when requested by civil authorities. For Trillium Response, the Canadian Forces is providing 1,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen to assist provincial authorities in dealing with the exercise disaster.
The Canadian Forces is also providing military facilities, vehicles, specialized medical and communications equipment and a CC-177 Globemaster transport airplane to assist in this exercise. Personnel will come from Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, and from Reserve garrisons and bases across Ontario.

Municipalities across northwestern Ontario are taking part in the exercise. Participation varies from full field activities in Thunder Bay and Shuniah to tabletop and command post exercises in most other communities. The Aroland, Constance Lake and Rocky Bay First Nations are also taking part in Trillium Response.
Non-governmental organizations, such as the Salvation Army, the Canadian Red Cross and St. John Ambulance, are also playing a key role in the exercise; they will be involved in food distribution, coordinating services to evacuees and providing first aid.
Confederation College in Thunder Bay is also participating by providing audio-visual support to the exercise and the involvement of students in different exercise components such as casualty simulations and mock media coverage.
Ontario's emergency Supply Chain and Logistics Coordination Alliance includes experts from EMO, private sector firms and organizations and federal departments such as Public Safety Canada and the Department of National Defence. In the event of a disaster, private sector representatives will join public sector officials at the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre. They would provide technical advice on procurement and distribution issues and reach out to private firms to assist with emergency acquisition, transportation and distribution of essential goods and products.


All Ontario households should have an emergency preparedness kit that will allow families to be self-sufficient for the first 72 hours of an emergency. The kit should contain supplies which consider the specific requirements of every family member, including those with disabilities, special needs, children, seniors and pets.



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