RBH Special Operations
The Sunnybrook Centre for Prehospital Medicine has a Special Operations program under the medical direction of Dr. Michael Feldman and the management of Sue Thomson. The Special Operations programs include:
- Special Teams, i.e. Chemical/Biological/Radiological/ Nuclear/Explosive (CBRNE) team, tactical paramedics, Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR), marine paramedics, bike paramedics
- Special Events
- Disaster Planning/Exercises
These programs are supported by specific base hospital expertise developed in collaboration with EMS services across the Sunnybrook Centre for Prehospital Medicine catchment area. A dedicated Spec Ops medical director and program staff allows for up to date education, training and program development. Provincially approved Spec Ops Medical Directives have allowed many teams to provide services and prehospital care well beyond that which is usually available in the prehospital environment.
The close relationship that formed with the Toronto Special Operations Unit has fostered an environment conducive to training paramedics to deliver excellent patient care in non-traditional environments. Toronto Paramedic Services has played a pioneering role in developing a variety of Spec Ops teams to provide prehospital care in a number of hazardous or tactical environments. For example, the HUSAR Team provides a national resource in response to large scale incidents and structural collapse rescues.
Peel Regional Paramedic Services has an active tactical paramedic team that works closely with Peel Regional Police. The team continues to undertake training and exercises to ensure that Peel Region has access to state of the art “care under fire.”
Halton Region Paramedic Services has a number of tactical paramedics who work closely with the Halton Regional Police Tactical Rescue Unit to provide emergency medical support during high-risk situations. Halton Region Paramedic Services also deploys a Bike Medic patrol to various community events held annually throughout the region, which enables paramedics to respond to emergencies in small, contained areas that might not be accessible by an ambulance vehicle.
The County of Simcoe Paramedic Services Incident Response Unit (IRU) is technically trained to respond to all major incidents, hazardous materials (Hazmat) and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, explosive (CBRNE) emergencies as part of a county wide CBRNE response team in conjunction with Fire Hazmat teams and Police Explosive Ordnance Disposal Teams. The IRU provides advanced hazmat life support medical care and treatment to potential patients and medical support to allied responders. The IRU is capable of onsite medical research, equipped with specialized hazmat/CBRNE protective equipment and medications for rapid triage and treatment. During multiple casualty incidents, the IRU will assist on-scene Commanders with establishing the Incident Management System (IMS) and deployment of the Emergency Support Units.
The emergence of areas of specialist paramedic practice in the Special Operations units is an important resource for community emergency preparedness and we look forward to working with all of our colleagues in Special Operations, Community Paramedicine and disaster planning.
Contact us with any inquiries or input for program development. Our door is always open.
Manager, Paramedic Practice
Special Operations Program