Emergency Response Task Force - November 20, 2014

Record of Decision

Meeting of Thursday, November 20, 2014

Item # Decisions / Action Items Sponsor

1. and 2. Opening Remarks by Chair and Vice-Chair

The Chair opened the meeting with introductions and hospitality matters.

Chris Powers, Chair
Louis Laferrière,
ER Task Force

3. Approval of the Agenda

The agenda is approved


4. Approval of the October 9, 2014 Meeting Decision Record

The October 9, 2014 Decision Record is approved.


5. Remarks by Director General, TDG

The Director General welcomed and commended the ERTF members on their hard work and dedication. She indicated that the recommendations submitted to Transport Canada (TC) are being taken seriously and that many steps had already been undertaken to address them.

  • (1) Flammable liquids requiring an ERAP under PD 33:
  • The addition of Ethanol shipped (from the US to Canada) under UN 1987 to the list of flammable liquids requiring an ERAP under PD 33 is already being drafted into a regulator amendment scheduled for publication in the Canada Gazette Part II in the spring of 2014.
  • (2) Data collection and analysis:
  • Work is underway to identify high risk commodities by looking at the flow of commodities and also to determine the criteria that will assist in identifying which other flammable liquids, if any, should require an ERAP.
  • (3) ERAP program awareness:
  • The insight that the ERTF members, CANUTEC and the Research and Evaluation team have provided thus far has helped TC set targets on important opportunities (e.g. different stakeholder conferences and meetings, etc.) to provide information and strengthen awareness of the ERAP program.

The impact of the ERTF work will be tremendous and although recommendations might not always be addressed as precisely as presented, serious consideration by senior management is always given to each one.

Nicole Girard
Director General,
Transport Canada

6. Update on ER Task Force Subgroup 1 – Building on PD 33 and Industry approach

The Subgroup 1 informed of the following:

Before the Subgroup can look further into PD 33, they are waiting for data (e.g. volumes, frequency and location of flammable liquids transported by rail).

Moving forward, the discussions will focus on creating a Flammable Liquids Technical Advisor job description that will include the expectations concerning the roles and responsibilities, knowledge, training and education/experience of the individual or collective of people to provide on-scene technical advice needed during a rail incident involving flammable liquids.

During its meetings, the Subgroup has identified a need to build a lexicon or reference standard to ensure that during discussions all parties are using the same definitions.

Louis Laferriere,
Vice-chair, ER Task Force
Transport Canada

7. Update on ER Task Force Subgroup 2 – Incident Management

The subgroup's discussions have been aimed at providing members with background information on different models of Incident Management systems (such as ICS, NIMS, IMS) and collecting information from members through a roles and responsibilities survey. This exercise has assisted in identifying factors that impact on the success of incident command, and provide a basis or starting point for a recommendation on a national incident management approach.

ICS (equivalent to NIMS in the U.S.) appears to be a well accepted system across the country and the subgroup is considering recommending using the ICS system model as the preferred national approach, but with added elements to address identified gaps (e.g. communication).

Discussions also focused on the need for common language and understanding in order to avoid misinterpretation.

Good incident command is critical in order for an ERAP to work as intended and in order to achieve this, it is crucial for all stakeholders involved to understand roles and responsibilities. In order to achieve this, the ERTF is leveraging on existing applications (ICS/IMS, NIMS, Disciplined Approach) to develop a unified command best practice model and guidelines.

Should such a model be supported by TC, members stressed the importance of sharing this information with communities in the most effective way possible in order to reach maximal audience (find most efficient ways to reach out to all of those who need it) with maximum impact (message is clear and easy to understand).


Based on subgroup 2 findings, draft a model and best practices guide within the next month for ERTF member's consideration, and once finalized and agreed upon, submit as a recommendation to TC.

Chris Powers
Chair, ER Task Force
Transport Canada

ERTF Secretariat

8. Presentation from American Renewable Fuels Association on Emergency Response and Training Program Quarterly Report (draft) for discussion, consideration and review

A presentation was given by Kristy Moore on the RFA and Ethanol Emergency Response Coalition's (EERC) process and effort to provide the appropriate training to responders for ethanol related rail incidents.

In order to identify gaps and determine training needs, the RFA conducted case studies to evaluate which factors play a role in derailments. In all case studies conducted, there existed no Emergency Response Plans (ERP) and the stakeholders' level of awareness varied.

As a result of the information gathered from these cases, US training programs are being modified to include additional elements (e.g. the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) did not always include the railroad personnel in the incident command and this needs to be fixed).

However, it can take up to 2 years to develop a training program and up to 7 years to revise and update it. Consequently, it is important to consider that any training program being developed is robust enough to avoid constant revisions (see page 3 of presentation (attached) with list of factors to consider).

Members were interested in knowing whether or not credits or competency certification was given to those who attended. Ms. Moore indicated that only certificates of attendance were offered given that the training provided up until now was limited to the ‘'awareness level''. However, the ‘'train the trainer'' classes will involve comprehension testing.

Currently, there is no post-training testing, only a requirement to meet a certain level in order to be able to take the class (e.g. 5 yrs. experience in emergency response, experience as instructor, etc.

That being said, there are challenges, for example:

  • (1) cost of attending (not only cost of travel and course itself but also cost of having to take time off for those, like volunteer firefighters, who have a full-time job);
  • (2) those who get to attend courses don't always find the opportunity to pass on the knowledge and acquired skills to their colleagues once they return.

The training material would have to be reviewed and perhaps updated to ensure Canadian content but the ERTF members are interested in what the RFA is offering.


Ms. Moore will send information with additional details regarding certification requirements.

Kristy Moore
Renewal Fuels Association (RFA)-USA

Kristy Moore
Renewal Fuels Association (RFA)-USA


9. Discussion on the creation of a Canadian Flammable Liquid Firefighting Fund

The CAFA is proposing that a single Canadian authority be created to issue recognized credentials that would reflect a consistent, acceptable level of preparedness and firefighting capability for rail incidents involving flammable liquids. In order to achieve this,

‘'CAFC recommends that a modest, true cost user fee be levied on a per tanker car basis for all Class 3 dangerous goods transported by rail within Canada, and that the fee be payable by the producer.''

The revenue generated would fund the training and specialized training equipment necessary to respond effectively to these incidents. This would go long way in addressing the issue of municipal fire services currently having to bear the brunt of the growing cost of responding to rail incidents involving these goods. There has been a substantial increase in flammable liquids being shipped by rail and consequently, stakeholders, including first responders, have to be well prepared to effectively respond should incidents occur.

Members wanted to know:

What is the current state of affairs with firefighting training in programs in Canada? Are firefighters trained to the level that they should be?

  • (1) in terms of basics?
  • (2) In terms of specialties (e.g. technical specialist)?

Members were reminded that it is incumbent upon municipalities to offer proper training for the services that they provide. It is not the role of the industry to fund basic level training. The industry might be willing to assist but needs to know that the money will be spent on training specifically related to flammable liquids.

The BC Justice Institute is already helping with training development. The training being proposed is similar to the EERC program but structured slightly different in order to meet the Canadian Fire Services needs. The program can also be regionalized to make it more accessible. That being said, it will also be important to understand the scope of the specialty training needs. In order to accomplish this, the ERTF will require data from the industry in terms of flammable liquids rail routes, volumes, location and capacity of emergency response resources (e.g. foam), etc.

Some members also suggested that the training curriculum should be extended to include other scenarios like, for example, where the disaster involves other types of dangerous goods and where the impact is environmental. The Chair reminded members that the focus of the ERTF mandate is incidents of flammable liquids being transported by rail, however, other scenarios are always kept in mind.

The members support the CAFC's idea of re-packaging existing training models with Canadian content and the concept of an specialist accreditation program and suggest that a recommendation be made to amend NFPA standard 472.


Confirm which training standards are being used across the country and consider making a recommendation to amend NFPA Standard 472 to add a Flammable Liquids Specialist – Transport

John-Paul Cody-Cox
Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC)

ERTF Secretariat

10. Presentation from Defence Research and Development Canada – Centre for Security Science on Canada's Canada's Multi-Agency Situational Awareness System (MASAS) National Information Exchanges (MASAS-X) Pilot Project.

Mr. Matschke introduced his presentation by explaining that Multi-Agency Situational Awareness System (MASAS) is a national priority of the Communications Interoperability Strategy for Canada. This mapping system is a pilot project with the objective of allowing interoperability connection between organizations of all sizes and types. MASAS doesn't replace existing systems but leverages on existing applications and systems, rather than trying to move stakeholders to a new common application (existing systems can feed into MASAS). It consists of a common set of tools that supports viewing and posting of information on both desktop and mobile devices where participants can exchange amongst themselves freely, however, given the sensitivity of the data, the exchange is kept within a closed community (participants must have an account to view and post information). There is no limit to the number of participants.

Dave Matschke and Doug Allport Defence Research and Development Canada – Centre for Security Science

11. Presentation from CP Rail on Real-time Data (Ask Rail) Emergency Response Procedures and Resources

Mr. Kozey introduced "Askrail" which is a free North American computer application software for mobile only devices (not PC, desktop or laptop) to enable users to access information relating to the contents of rail cars. It is a Class I railways initiative developed by "Railinc" to improve getting emergency response information to responders who arrive first to the scene of a rail emergency and need critical information about the contents of a railcar when the conductor and/or the train consist is not available. The application is available by invitation only and should only be utilized by industry-qualified hazmat emergency responders. The launch consists of 2 phases; the first (launched in October 2014) consisting of a single car lookup and the second a train consist lookup (not yet launched). Work is underway to include short line (Class 2 & 3) railroads but not currently available (Phase 2).

Jim Kozey
Canadian Pacific Railway

Darlene Nagy
Canadian Pacific Railways

12. Round table - Questions and Answers

Participants' concerns, questions or suggestions are included in the following consultation record which will be updated on a regular basis


13. Next Steps

The ERTF First Quarterly Report publication is expected over the next 2 to 3 weeks.

ERTF Secretariat

14.Next Meeting

When: December 11, 2014
Where : 330 Sparks St., Place de Ville, Tower C
Ottawa, Ontario

Time: 9:30 am to 4:00 pm EST

Action item:

  • (1) Task Force members are invited to propose agenda items or presentation no later than 12 days in advance of a meeting.

Please note: Members wishing to make a presentation are required to submit any item/presentation documents to the secretariat at least 2 to 3 days in advance of the meeting date for distribution to all participants. Please indicate permission to post on the website.