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.

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
  • Physicians

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.

Medical team

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.

Learn more about Urban Search and Rescue

Heavy Urban Search and Rescue team members

2013 Calgary Flood

Johnsons Landing Mudslide


David Boone
Assistant Chief, Operations Division-VFRS

Mailing address
Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services
Heavy Urban Search & Rescue
1330 Chess Street
Vancouver, BC V6A 4K6

Phone: 604-603-2480

Fax:  604-654-0623