Urban Search and Rescue Team Participating in National Exercise

By Brian Schultz

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 07: Firefighters from Merseyside Fire Brigade lift a simulated casualty from an exercise earthquake zone during the UK's biggest ever rescue exercise on September 7, 2010 in Liverpool, England. The National Urban Search & Rescue Exercise simulated an earthquake and involved brigades across the UK. Part of the simulation included vehicles and people trapped in the Mersey Tunnel. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Members of Manitoba’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team are in Ottawa today and Saturday practicing in the 2010 USAR national exercise.

More than 22 men and women from the province are honing their skills to be ready for emergencies anywhere in Canada.

Manitoba’s camp will be in operation within hours of landing in Ottawa and will include all-season tents, water and galley supplies, an environmentally friendly power system, computer-aided search tools and a satellite communications systems.

The Manitoba USAR team can be self-sustaining for two weeks and mobilize within hours of arriving in any country.

Teams from Vancouver, Alberta, Toronto and Halifax are also participating, and along with Manitoba, are co-funded by the federal government.

USAR teams were formed shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S.