Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) is the term for a group of specialized rescue skills supplemented by search, medical and structural assessment resources combined in a mobile, highly integrated team. USAR teams rescue victims from major structural collapse or other entrapments using specially trained dogs and electronic search equipment. A team may respond to a variety of incidents, including earthquakes, tornadoes, severe storms and explosions.
USAR teams are classified at three levels of capability: heavy, medium and light. Within the provincial response system, Ontario has one heavy USAR (HUSAR) team and one medium USAR (MUSAR) team. Ontario’s HUSAR team is maintained by the City of Toronto through an MOU with the Office of the Fire Marshal. Ontario’s MUSAR team is maintained by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) as part of the Urban Search and Rescue and CBRNE Response Team (UCRT).
Learn more about these specialized resources: