Heavy Urban Search and Rescue task force
The Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) Task Force is a special operations team of up to 120 members with medical, fire suppression, emergency response, search and rescue, and engineering backgrounds.
The task force rescues victims from major structural collapses and other hazards.
It is one of four heavy urban search and rescue teams able to deploy anywhere in Canada, and the only Canadian team certified to deploy around the world by the coordinator for UN Emergency Response.
The team helped victims of the 2013 Calgary Flood.
Training for a disaster
The HUSAR Task Force's strict training program has become a national standard for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada. It regularly practices advanced rescue techniques to prepare for disasters that involve:
- Rescue from structural collapse, confined spaces, and high angles
- Technical search strategies
- Trained search dogs
About our team
The HUSAR Task Force includes:
- Structural engineers
- Heavy rigging specialists
- Search specialists (including highly-trained search dogs)
- Logistics specialists
- Communications technicians
- Rescue specialists
- Medical specialists
Members come from following organizations:
- Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services
- Vancouver Police Department
- City of Vancouver Engineering Department
- Vancouver Park Board
- BC Ambulance Service
Technical search team
The technical search team is the eyes and ears of the task force. Engineers and search technicians use specialized search cameras, sensitive acoustic detectors, and search dogs to find victims trapped in collapsed structures and debris.
The medical team specialists and physicians care for rescued patients and task force members – an essential role while in the field.
Search and rescue team
The search and rescue team rescues victims from: collapsed structures and trenches; challenging, near-vertical environments; and swift-moving water. The team also prepares for and carries out the decontamination of large numbers of people.