Vancouver’s HUSAR deployed to help battle B.C. wildfires

HUSAR now it has the funding to put its skills to the test in a major disaster drill
WATCH: Vancouver's HUSAR team puts its skills to the test in a major disaster drill

The City of Vancouver’s Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) team has joined the fight against the wildfires devastating vast swaths of B.C.

The city deployed six members from the team to Kamloops and Prince George on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Metro Vancouver firefighters gear up to help as interior wildfires rage

Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services Cpt. Jonathan Gormick said the members have been sent to emergency operations centres in the fire zones and are specialists in logistics.

“We’ve currently deployed members who have expertise in incident command and overseeing large operations,” he said.

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A fire truck is also en route with four firefighters.

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“One of our larger engines, and we have several other apparatus on standby waiting for a request from Emergency Management BC,” Gormick said.

The city has also dispatched an emergency planning coordinator, and said other assistance is available if needed.

READ MORE: B.C. wildfire status Tuesday: Williams Lake remains under evacuation alert

Vancouver’s HUSAR team, known as ‘Task Force 1,’ is a specialist team made up of members with medical, firefighting, engineering, search and rescue, and emergency response skills.

It has previously been deployed to emergencies in B.C. such as the 2012 Johnson’s Landing slide that left four people dead, and was most recently deployed internationally to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Last summer, the team got a boost in funding after a report from the auditor general found that B.C. was badly unprepared for a disaster.

With files form Emily Lazatin