U.S. and Canada test multi-national emergency response

Canada and the U.S. are partaking in studies that look into cross-border emergency response practices between federal, provincial/state and local governments over the course of November, the Firstresponders.gov blog stated Wednesday.

The two studies come as the third iteration of the Canada-U.S. Enhanced Resiliency Experiment, also known as CAUSE III. The series of crisis simulations offer the opportunity to test the latest in emergency response technology and practice. The simulations will also verify the protocols and equipment as to whether they are appropriate or necessary.

The joint effort was signed by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2011. The first set of simulations tested interoperability based on shared emergency alerts and data in June of that year. The second set took place in March of this past year. It largely demonstrated the ability to share information and updates between 12 state, provincial and national agencies. The technology that was demonstrated was the Virtual Maine, a multi-agency situational awareness system developed in Canada, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System and the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate's Virtual USA, a mutual aid support system.

Cities included in CAUSE III testing include, Nashua, New Hampshire, San Antonio, Halifax and Nova Scotia along with virtual volunteers using social media.

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