Vermont, Canadian emergency agencies hold training seminar

DEMHS hosted a border exercise with Canadian public safety organizations to discuss collaborative efforts. | Courtesy of the Vermont Department of Public Safety

The Vermont Department of Public Safety's Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) recently participated in an exercise with the Vermont State Police and the Quebec Provincial Police on policing the international border.

Participants in the exercise, called the Quebec-Vermont Cross Border Workshop, became familiar with cross-border state, provincial and federal counterparts, such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the U.S. Border Patrol, Canadian Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The two-day workshop included training and an emergency drill. The goal was to look for ways to improve collaboration and cooperation among the agencies.

The drill scenario involved a robbery suspect fleeing into Canada illegally from Vermont. While on the run, the pretend robber was then in an “accident” with a bus that carried Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin and U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).

During the scenario, participants discussed the “logistics and legalities” of bringing the suspect into custody, as well as the transportation and treatment of Shumlin and Leahy.

DEMHS and Vermont State Police Lt. Michael Manning said that when it comes to natural disasters, public safety needs and terrorism, there are no such things as towns, states or international borders.

“This workshop is an opportunity to engage our state, provincial and federal partners in a series of discussion-based exercises in order to address challenges and identify best practices for more effective management of incidents that require multi-agency response and to continue to enhance cooperation and collaboration among allied public safety agencies,” Manning said. “Our goal is to eliminate the border as a barrier.”

Organizations in this story

Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security 103 S. Main St. Waterbury, VT 05671

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