From June 20 to 22, 2017 a training session for leaders and assistant leaders of the Emergency Response Teams (ERT) in the Quebec Region was held at the Correctional Learning and Development Centre. This important meeting allowed participants to discuss the current reality of the teams who are trained to respond to various emergency situations such as major disturbances, cell extractions, high-risk escorts, riots, hostage-takings, etc. The meeting, which was very well received by the participants, also gave them the opportunity to renew an efficient and relevant communications network between the teams.
This training, which is held every two years, consists of reviewing and updating the information and skills of the participants who play an important role as positive leaders within the institutions. It is part of the Re-accreditation Program for leaders and assistant leaders of the ERT teams. The goal of the program is to prepare them to lead the members of specialized teams so that they can respond in a professional and efficient manner during exceptional missions that arise in the institutions. In responding to emergencies, the members of the ERT team count on the leadership of a leader who exhibits calmness, self-control, skill, knowledge, and a sense of organization.
This kind of preparation is aimed at minimizing the risk of injury to staff and inmates, and for the protection of the public in accordance with the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA) and CSC policies including CD 600 Management of Emergencies and CD 843 Management of Inmate Self-Injurious and Suicidal Behaviour. Indeed, every deployment of the response teams, which is authorized by the warden, is based on an interdisciplinary approach that takes into account the social, psychological and physical history of the offenders involved in order to ensure the best intervention possible. This approach is aimed at ensuring a positive outcome of the emergency situation that will result in the preservation of life, the protection of society, the institution, and those within, as well as permitting the institution to return to normal operations at the earliest time possible.
Leadership styles, teamwork, new security equipment, breaching capacity, surveillance, weapon and entry safety, selection criteria for new members, and current trends are just some of the topics discussed during the regional meeting. A videoconference following the training with Alessandria Page, A/Assistant Deputy Commissioner brought together the ERT leaders with the management team of the institutions and the members of the regional security division. This enabled the leaders and assistant leaders of the ERT teams to discuss their realities and to share their concerns with management at both the local and regional level.