Improving Emergency Response

Mar 15, 2012

In this issue we have focused on Emergency Response, primarily medical, and reflect on some serious proposals such as those by Steve Rowland on Emergency Medical Services in Ontario and Edward R Myers on both the OPP Medical Services and the Culture of Safety Richard Bray and Sean Tracy expose some other responder safety challenges and innovations in their articles dealing with CBRN and electric vehicle accident response. The landscape of Emergency Response is evolving, and Search and Rescue in the Arctic by the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary highlights these challenges. The Mallard Fire of 1999 is described by Andre Fecteau in his article on coordinating volunteer and professional responders at times of serious natural and human disaster. In the matter of response, welcome progress through the formal allocation of the 700 MHz band to public safety needs across the country has been approved by Industry Canada. Pascal Rodier has made some excellent suggestions on this very issue that will be of particular interest to the new coordinating agency for this network.

Health authorities take note! Our FrontLine interview with Michael Nolan, President of the Emergency Medical Services Chiefs of Canada offers extremely pertinent recommendations to the federal government for improving safety and reducing health costs.

On the global front, we have two most interesting international topics one on the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency approach by Tim Lynch. He includes a novel comparison of international Coast Guards. The other, which includes an interview with the Commander of Canada COM, LGen Semianiw, delves into Canada-Mexico security issues.

The increasing presence of organized international crime syndicates, often linked with terrorism. My own article on Health Care Fraud, the one on Mexico and the one on the Malaysian Enforcement Agency bring to mind this insidious but powerful threat that is too often ignored though it threatens the security of all.

The recent assassination of a major Canadian crime boss in Mexico, the drug consumption in North America fuelling lucrative international crime networks and terrorist fund-raising, as well as the increase in slavery, money laundering and cyber theft as commerce, pose significant strategic security challenges to us all. This pervasive criminal presence in our midst is indeed our security "elephant in the room". To tackle such a monumental adversary as organized crime takes will, imagination, resources and a strategic international vision and effort beyond what we have to date. It undoubtedly begins with solid coordination at home and cooperation abroad. For this, Scott Newark's call for a National Security Coordinator is the least we should do and timely, if not late, since it was first requested by Mr. Justice Major in his 2010 Air India Report. I urge authorities at all levels to take these issues seriously.

Clive Addy, Executive Editor
© FrontLine Security 2012