Emergency Response Team
The Emergency Response Team (ERT) received official recognition in 1992, when the Ontario Provincial Police made a decision to incorporate a number of specialized emergency response units into one team.
The Ontario Provincial Police's ERT is comprised of 262 men and women whose full-time responsibilities are conducting front-line policing duties at detachments located throughout the Province.
In addition to their front-line duties ERT members have specialized training and are Provincially responsible for:
- Canine Tracking Back up
- Search and Rescue for missing persons and searches for evidence
- Containment of barricaded persons
- Public Order at events such as protests, riots, strikes and major events
- VIP security
- Witness protection
High-risk prisoner escorts (when the OPP Tactics and Rescue Unit is not available), and
Any other situation that the Regional Commander deems requires their expertise
To become an ERT member, OPP officers must be able to demonstrate integrity, sound judgement under stress, leadership and effective communication skills as well as the ability to problem solve and take initiative. ERT members must maintain a high level of physical fitness and are required to maintain a state of readiness to be called out with little notice and are often required to work away from their homes for extended periods of time. The working environment during an incident may be unpredictable and subject to rapidly changing factors.
It is important for the success of the ERT program that the appropriate candidates are selected for this challenging role.
Identified ERT candidates must successfully complete the 9-week ERT basic training course. This course is physically and mentally demanding and will give the candidate the knowledge and skills to be able to be an effective member of ERT.
The OPP search and rescue program is recognized as having one of the premier search and rescue units in North America. The latest scientific data and equipment are utilized in the search of lost persons.
The Emergency Response teams are a valuable resource to the OPP and the community. They provide a rapid, professional response to local emergencies whether searching for a lost child or responding to a natural disaster or a high-risk incident.