New Search and Rescue team in Windsor begins training
Published Friday, August 9, 2019 7:51PM EDT
Training has already started for members of a new urban search and rescue team in Windsor.
As CTV News first reported on Wednesday, the City of Windsor received $450,000 from the provincial government to support these specialized teams.
$150,000 will pay for additional training for the local hazat team while $300,000 will pay to create this new response team, led by Windsor Fire and Rescue.
Deputy Chief of Operations, Jamie Waffle, says they will be one of four rescue teams in Ontario.
"We are at the bottom end of the province, Thunder Bay is at the top, so it just makes sense to have hubs in Toronto and Ottawa and then for them to expand out," says Waffle.
Team members will learn skills to help victims who are trapped in collapsed structures for example and assist with other life-saving operations.
The initiative is in response to recommendations made by the inquiry into the Algo Centre Mall collapse in Elliot Lake in 2012 that killed two people and injured 20 others.
There was a similar collapse in Windsor in 2010, when a parking garage on Ouellette Avenue gave way, but no one was hurt.
Waffle tells CTV News the Windsor team will be made up of 36 firefighters and four have already completed their initial 100 hours of training.
"They've been learning certain techniques with how to get through different material, with different pieces of equipment," says Waffle. "There's a lot of equipment to learn and tools to learn."
The Ontario Government announced Wednesday a $2.5 million investment for municipal urban search and rescue as well as chemical, biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive, and Hazardous Materials teams in six municipalities.
The investment will support 10 specialized teams in North Bay, Ottawa, Peterborough, Thunder Bay, Toronto as well as Windsor.