Humanitarian Workforce Project – Phase 2 Update

On May 16, 2022, Public Safety Canada advised SARVAC that a submission for Phase 2 “Supporting a  Humanitarian Workforce to Respond to COVID-19 and Other Large-Scale Emergencies” program had  been approved with the formal agreement signed on July 6, 2022.  

The currently approved agreement will be in place until March 31, 2023. 


With the implementation of Phase 2 of the SARVAC HWF Program, development is now well underway  and we will be focusing on increasing our readiness capacity and deployment ability through the  following: 

• Continued review and edits of our draft Emergency Management Governance for Search and  Rescue (EMGOSAR) document completed in Phase 1. 

• Continued review and edits of the draft National SAR Operations Concept (NSOC) document  completed in Phase 1. 

• Operationalization of the NSOC. 

• Developing Interim Operations and Logistics support for the SARVAC Humanitarian Workforce  (HWF) Program. 

• Developing a system to provide Mobile and Scalable Logistics. 

• Implementing a Data Management System. 

• Purchasing Basic readiness Kits and Supplies to support future HWF deployments. 

• Building the capacity of the SARVAC office to support the HWF program through the hiring of  staff and consultants.  

• Developing Agreements with the Provinces and Territories. 

• Development and Implementation of an Indigenous and Remote Community Engagement  program.  

Current Status/Next Steps 

SARVAC is happy to announce Paul French as the HWF Program Director who will be responsible for the  overall management of the HWF Program and will act as the principal contact between the consultants,  the SARVAC Board and the SARVAC office staff. Paul has taken this interim position over from SARVAC’s  Past President, Scott Wright who managed Phase 1 of the program. SARVAC would like to extend a  

sincere thank you to Scott for his outstanding contribution to the program and for sharing his vision of  SARVAC’s expanded role in disaster and emergency management. 

Randy Antonio continues in his role as SARVAC’s HWF Operations Director, and will be responsible for  managing any Requests for Assistance accepted by SARVAC during Phase 2 and will collaborate with the consulting group and SARVAC Board to help prepare SARVAC for the future needs of the HWF program.  

In addition to the SARVAC staff, a team of consultants has been recruited through Kozakewich  Consulting, under the management of Lawrence Conway. Lawrence continues in his role as lead  consultant from Phase 1 of the project. The biographies of the additional consultants are attached to  this update (or on the SARVAC website) for review by members of the board. 

Members of the consultant team may be in touch with members of the board and other GSAR members  from across the Canada. This outreach process will be coordinated to ensure minimum impact on our  members as well as reducing duplication of their outreach efforts. 

If members of the SARVAC Board have any questions about SARVAC’s HWF Program, please feel free to  contact Paul French at or 1-709-368-2273. 

Staff and Consultant Biographies 

Paul French – SARVAC’s HWF Program Director 

Paul is continuing his seventh year with the Search and Rescue Volunteer Association  of Canada (SARVAC) and is excited to develop his skills and knowledge base, which  he hopes will assist him in the continued growth of the organization.

Paul first  became interested in the DEM field when he became a GSAR volunteer within his  local SAR team, Rovers SAR in 2009. Since joining the team, he has held many roles  including Vice President, Search Manager, Rope Rescue Instructor, Ice Rescue Instructor, Chief Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) Pilot and Water Rescue Instructor to name a few. His dedication and passion for public safety contributed to his role as SARVAC’s National Prevention Coordinator in 2015.

Through this role, Paul managed the development of a number of initiatives including the, Hug-A-Tree and Survive film, the development and expansion of the AdventureSmart Coordinator team, the AdventureSmart Trip Plan App, and the redevelopment of the AdventureSmart website.

He has also secured funding for the development of additional SAR prevention initiatives such as the creation of a communications position, a media  advertisement campaign, and the development of several e-learning platforms which will increase AdventureSmart’s online capacity and awareness.

Paul has received many certifications through his role  in SAR such as Incident Command Systems, and Road to Mental Readiness and has taken part in the  response and training exercise for several emergency management operations. Most recently, Paul  enrolled in the Royal Roads University, Masters in Disaster and Emergency Management program which he is set to complete in March of 2024.

Paul lives in the suburban community of Portugal Cove – St. Philips  in Newfoundland and Labrador where he loves spending time with family, and friends and being outdoors. 

Randy Antonio – SARVAC’s HWF Operations Director 

Randy is currently on pre-retirement leave after 28.5 years with the Winnipeg Police Service in both operations and administrative roles including supervision of a  variety of units, a member of the Major Incident Response Team, GSAR Unit Supervisor and the final five years leading a team of data analysts and policy writers.

Previous to becoming a member of the WPS, Randy was with the Canadian Armed  Forces in both the Logistics Branch followed by five years in Operations as a member of the Military Police. Prior to his time with the military, Randy was the Operations Manager for  one of Canada’s largest security firms.

Additional emergency response and operational roles included: Captain/Fire Officer Level 1/Training  Officer for St Andrews Fire, Training Co-ordinator for the South Interlake Fire Mutual Aid District, Search  Team Lead and Rescue Team Lead CAN TF-4 Urban Search and Rescue Team (Manitoba). Additional  training has included ICS Instructor Train-the-Trainer, Emergency Operations Centre (Basic/Advanced  JIBC) Emergency Preparedness (City of Winnipeg). Randy continues to fill his spare time as a volunteer  with Winnipeg SAR, the VP of SARMAN, the COO of Project Lifesaver Manitoba and as a casual instructor  for the Manitoba Emergency Services College (GSAR,ICS, Traffic Control, Exam Proctor)

Lawrence Conway – Kozakewich Consulting Project Manager  

Lawrence is the founder and President of Kozakewich Consulting, an agency that brings together specialists in support to the sectors of Emergency Management, Search and Rescue, and Disaster Response and Resilience. 

Following a 30-year career with the Canadian public service, Lawrence now applies his leadership experience, technical knowledge and extensive networks to help organizations achieve the objectives they seek in identifying, mitigating, preparing for, responding to and recovering from large and small emergencies and disasters. 

In addition to the 13 years of his career invested in developing policy and supporting Search and Rescue  programs, including at the executive level with the Canadian Department of Public Safety and  Emergency Preparedness, Lawrence offers the experience of over 15 years as a Ground Search and  Rescue volunteer. He has served as President of Ottawa Volunteer Search and Rescue and as the  Emergency Management Advisor to the Humanitarian Studies Program at Royal Roads University in  Victoria, British Columbia. In his official role, he has led Canada’s Heavy Urban Search and Rescue  Program and coordinated Canada’s operational relationship with the United Nations International  Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG). His most recent efforts have been focused on helping to  leverage the unique capabilities that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) offer in emergency  management and disaster response and resilience. 

Lawrence holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alberta. 

While professionally leading a team of consultants deployed in support to public, private and NGO  sector clients, Lawrence continues to be actively engaged as a volunteer with his local Search and  Rescue volunteer organization. During the course of a single day he can be seen in a suit around a  boardroom table in the morning yet wearing technical gear in the woods in the afternoon. 

David J Metcalfe – Kozakewich Consulting Operational Governance 

As a recently retired senior executive within the Canadian federal public  service, Dave offers more than 30 years of experience in the development and  implementation of strategy across a broad spectrum of large and small  organizations including the Canada Revenue Agency, the Department of National Defence, Public Works and Government Services Canada; the Canadian International Development Agency; and, Global Affairs Canada

Prior to completing his public sector career as Director General responsible for domestic and international security and emergency management at Global Affairs Canada, he was posted abroad and served two years in Kabul as Canada’s Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. He has spent a significant portion of his  public sector career advancing international responsibilities focused on bilateral development assistance  where he established effective partnerships, particularly in fragile and conflict affected contexts, including those of Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza, and the broader Middle East region. As Director General of International Assistance for Afghanistan and later Europe and the Middle East, he oversaw the selection and management of investments in the hundreds of millions of dollars, targeted toward reducing poverty, addressing vulnerability, building capacity for growth and  establishing sustainability. 

Throughout his career, Dave has worked extensively with a broad range of international and domestic  stakeholders including senior public service executives, Ministers and their staffs, private sector  executives and the NGO community. He holds a BA in sociology from the University of British Columbia  and an MBA in international management from the University of Ottawa

Randy Reeves – Kozakewich Consulting NSOC 

After 39 years of a successful and demanding career in the business world, as a Director of Business Development/Senior Strategic Sales Leader in the Canadian Utility/Industrial Power Generation Market, Randy transitioned to explore his other passions in life and to seek out  new ones. 

He is an active and dedicated member of Sauvetage Bénévole Outaouais  – Ottawa Volunteer Search And Rescue (SBO-OVSAR). Since October 2013  he has enthusiastically taken on many roles within the volunteer GSAR  team including as a searcher, team leader, ICS Trainer, Wilderness 1st Responder, Mountain Bike Team member, Adventure Smart program presenter, and many more. In 2015, Randy was part of a working  group of advanced trainers who developed the OSARVA Team Leader Manual, which was published in  March 2016. In the Disaster Relief events of 2017 – Ottawa/Outaouais Floods, 2018 – Ottawa Tornado and  the 2019 – Ottawa/Outaouais Floods he provided leadership and hands-on efforts to assist the community  by safely supervising hundreds of Spontaneous Volunteers, performing wellness checks, sandbag  placement/removal and whatever was asked of our team. He was the designated Security and COVID19  Coordinator for his Business group. 

Working with the HWF Project Team on phase 1, Randy worked within a small team to develop SARVAC’s  National SAR Operations Concept Document for Approval by SARVAC’s Board of Directors, Advisory Board and Public Safety Canada. Within the duties of developing the operational concept, a proof of concept  TableTop exercise was completed with participation from across the Canadian Volunteer GSAR  community including SARVAC’s HWF Advisory Committee. 

Duane McKay – CanOps Logistics Capability 

Duane has been actively involved in the Public Safety sector for 40 years,  engaging in a broad scope of public safety initiatives from ground level  emergency response to senior policy, management and leadership. Duane has  had a diverse career that allowed him to cross many professional borders and  to participate at all levels of government.

He has held the legislative responsibilities of Fire Commissioner and Chief of Emergency Planning. He has overseen the development  of the Saskatchewan 911 System and a wide array of emergency communications systems, including radio and broadband structure.

Duane also developed an innovative volunteer emergency response network and a logistics and training system, which included the implementation of a high school training program. At a national level, Duane has served as Chair of Canadian Council of Emergency Management Operations  and Co-Chair of Senior Officials Responsible for Emergency Management, President of the Council of Canadian Fire Marshalls and Fire Commissioners, Co-Chair of the Cross Sector Forum for Critical Infrastructure, and has spoken and presented at various other national committees and forums. In his role as the CanOps President, Duane provides leadership, oversight and management of CanOps’ business objectives. He oversees the development and implementation of the strategic vision and direction  throughout all levels of the corporation. Duane cares greatly about people and is always trying to help. His number one priority in life is his family, whether it is work family or home family. He is the only brother to seven? Sisters. Not only does he come from a big family himself, but he has a big family too. He and his  wife have eight children, some of whom are also involved in the Public Safety industry, and currently has (number) grandchildren. If Duane is not out making positive changes in the public safety industry, you will  find him at home enjoying time with the grandkids. 

Dan McKay – CanOps Lead Logistics Capability 

SAR Project Manager Growing up in a fire and public safety service family, Dan  was exposed to public safety throughout his life. Dan found he was very  interested in his community and how to keep it safe and is now pursuing his career in public safety. In 2008, Dan graduated from Fire ETC in Vermillion, Alberta with an International Fire Service Accreditation Congress certification in structural and wildlands fire fighting, hazardous materials operations, fire service instructor and is a certified Emergency Medical Responder. Dan started  his career in Public Safety working for the Prince Albert Grand Council as a Fire Prevention Trainer in 2010. In 2011 he accepted a position with the Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC) in support of the Provincial Public Safety Telecommunications Network. Dan shortly found a niche in  emergency response and found himself responding to floods, fires, train derailments, and all other types  of emergencies. Dan has spent the last ten years developing the provinces emergency response capacity  and now holds the role of Emergency Response Coordinator with the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency.  In the last year Dan has been seconded by CanOps to support the efforts in understanding the problems  in collecting national data for Ground Search and Rescue. He continues to take a lead role through an ever-changing world of “all hazards” within emergency response. Dan is a Saskatchewan boy, who spends  his time on a family farm enjoying the outdoors with his wife Krista who he has been married to for 13  years and has five children.

Paul M. St-Onge – Kozakewich Consulting Indigenous Community Knowledge Engagement 

Dedicated to learning and teaching, Paul has devoted his career to post secondary education. Faculty at La Cité collégiale in Ottawa, Ontario since the college inauguration in 1990, he oversaw the creation of the 911  Institute considered one of the most advanced training facilities for Police, Fire, EMS and 911 dispatching in Canada.  

His 34 years of experience in crisis intervention, tactical communication and de-escalation techniques have provided a foundation for training. His philosophy has always been to keep teaching simple but efficient. Considered a subject matter expert in training practices and the integration innovative technology, he continues to bring a new philosophy to program development through a vast network of associations. 

Having sat on several boards of directors such as the Canadian Association of Police Educators (CAPE),  SBO-OVSAR and Police Foundations Ontario Coordinators, Paul maintains close ties through his  associations and conference invitations as a subject matter expert on education and innovation.. 

Paul has remained devoted to giving back to his community by organizing fundraisers and actively  volunteering & sponsoring to organize community initiatives for the Alzheimer’s Society, Cancer Society  and Optimist Club of Canada. Devoted to supporting applicants in their hiring Paul continues to offer  preparatory workshops and provides physical testing services through his company, Police Fit Canada, to police and para-police agencies such as OPS, PPS, RCMP, CBSA and the Ontario Ministry of Correctional Services

A recipient of several teaching excellence awards for leadership and innovation, he has also been  recognized for his volunteerism and dedication by Collège La Cité, RCMP, OPP and community partners.  An advanced UAV Pilot, Paul continues to help integrate and develop new technologies with the use of  drone/UAVs for First Responders, SAR and Incident Command through his company Aero Concept  Systems Inc. 

Paul McDougall – Kozakewich Consulting Indigenous Community Knowledge Engagement 

Paul is an experienced physical security executive. During his 25-year career in First Nation Policing, he focused on patrol, investigations, training, and corporate management. 

Following his policing career, he spent 5 years in the private sector working globally in diamond mining. Paul’s unique exposures have resulted in a solid understanding of best practices in operations management, security planning, analysis, project management, and team development. 

He is adept at evaluating internal and external threats, impend lamenting quality policies, procedures, protocols, practices, and technology to safeguard personnel, facilities, equipment, and sensitive information.

Focused on providing risk management advisory services to private and public sector entities, Paul’s  expertise is in high-value asset operations with complex risk exposures. 

He can guide organizations in the application of strategic security risk management programs including  review, assessment, and design of security management programs, evaluating internal and external  threats and vulnerabilities, and design and implementation of quality policies, procedures, practices, and  technology. 

Paul is also passionate about training, coaching, and mentoring, which in itself can pose a risk to  organizations if not properly aligned and managed. 

Jeremy Sewell – Data Management System Consultant 

Jeremy is a Data Scientist for the Winnipeg Police Service in the Business  Intelligence Unit. He has a BSc. from the University of Winnipeg, Department of  Geography, where he studied GIS (geographic information systems), remote  sensing, cartography and earth sciences. Beginning 2011, he worked for eight  years with the Community and Regional Planning Branch of the Province of  Manitoba, Department of Indigenous and Municipal Relations, on inter and  intra-departmental initiatives as a Geospatial Analyst. 

Jeremy has been in his current position at WPS since early 2019, working on  adapting data analytics and data management to current workflows, applying  current technology to aid in collaboration and understanding. He accomplishes this by supplying users of information with creative and effective communication tools in many forms  including webapps, maps, dashboards and infographics for reporting and analytical purposes. 

Jeremy was on the executive and served as President of the Manitoba GIS User Group between 2014 and  2018. Sharing his passion for geomatics through the promotion of industry, education and community focused activities; Jeremy continues to look for new and exciting partnerships. Previous to his foray into  the world of land-use planning, analytics and geomatics, Jeremy had a career as a Chef and Restaurateur,  opening and managing many successful restaurants in the Winnipeg area. 

Heather Lucente – Kozakewich Consulting Project Management 

Outside of her work life in the construction industry Heather has spent the past  five years dedicated to active disaster response and preparedness with a focus  on increasing community engagement within formalized government and NGO’s responses. 

Based in West Carleton Ontario; communities within Heather’s region have  been hit with multiple disasters in the past 5 years. As an initial spontaneous  volunteer during the 2017 Ottawa River Flooding, Heather quickly organized a  community lead response. Heather and community volunteers had the opportunity to work alongside SBO-OVSAR volunteers, coordinating a joint effort of asset management and deployment of supplies, materials and volunteers. Realizing that the local communities would need ongoing recovery support Heather led in the creation of Constance Bay Flood Relief, successfully repairing and rebuilding homes of low income and vulnerable residents. 

The 2018 Dunrobin Tornado and 2019 Ottawa River Floods followed quickly and Constance Bay Flood  Relief became West Carleton Disaster Relief (WCDR). As the community response lead during the 2019  Floods, Heather was directly integrated into the Canadian Armed Forces Operation Lentus incident  command. Having the CAF command post co-located with the WCDR proved to be especially effective in  ensuring critical information flowed quickly from the community to the CAF deployment teams. WCDR  continues to support vulnerable residents with their recovery. 

Heather’s leadership and focus on development has allowed this community-based organization to  establish relationships with governmental and non-governmental organizations growing WCDR into a  trusted partner. WCDR continues to develop disaster response protocols and promote preparedness  throughout West Carleton, focusing on bridging gaps between community response and official response.  Heather and WCDR team members active through the 2017-2019 disasters were recognized with the  Emergency Management Exemplary Service Award from the government of Canada. 

Jim Montgomery – Kozakewich Consulting Service Agreements

Jim has over forty years of local, provincial, national and international emergency  response and management strategic and operational experience. Throughout his  career Jim has been involved in project and program management from concept,  through development, to implementation and sustainment of deliverables. He has  been trained on the principles of project management, with the concepts of the  Project Management Institute, that included modules covering; PM1: Initiate, PM2: Planning, PM3: Execute, PM4: Monitor & Control and PM4: Close Out. Jim  excels at facilitation and has experience with a diverse range of special interest  groups while managing the process and leaving the identification of the content to  the participants.  

As an Emergency Manager he understands the dynamics of intra and inter-agency response requiring  collaboration, cooperation, coordination and convergence, governed by principles and guidelines, while  being supported by training and validated through exercises.  

As a Commission member of the Emergency Management Accreditation Program, Jim is Chair of the  International Committee, while also serving on the Standards Subcommittee and as an Assessor of  emergency management programs. As an EMAP Assessor, it has provided him invaluable insight into the  multitude of structures and processes that may be utilized to accomplish program development,  implementation, compliance and sustainment.

Nicolas DeBreyne – Kozakewich Consulting NSOC 

Nicolas deBreyne has been a Search and Rescue and Emergency Management Specialist for the past 25 years. During incidents and events ranging from search and rescue operations, foreign dignitary visits as well as damaging storms, Bloods and wildfires, Nicolas has worked in municipal and provincial command posts and emergency operations centres, staffing positions in operations, planning and command. In the summer of 2017,  

Nicolas spent several months as a Director and Deputy Director of a Provincial Emergency Operations Centre. Nicolas has been a ground search and rescue volunteer since 1996, He has been active member of teams  in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. For 12 years, Nicolas was the Search and Rescue Specialist on the 80 member search and rescue unit within the Ottawa Police Service, responding to  missing person searches in a paid capacity, fulfilling the Services mandate under the Police Services Act of  Ontario. 

Certified as an instructor for both Emergency Response Institute International (ERI Int) and the National Search and Rescue Association (NASAR), Nicolas has delivered  search and rescue training since 2002; at the basic searcher, team leader and search manager levels. Nicolas has delivered training in the Province of Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, to volunteers and paid responders and to the CF Search and Rescue Technicians. Additionally he has also delivered training in human tracking and rope rescue.

Nicolas is accredited with ICS Canada to deliver 100, 200, 300 and 400 level Incident Command System  courses and has been delivering ICS training for over a decade to the private & volunteer sectors and to  municipal, provincial and federal government workers. Since fall of 2018, he has delivered over 60 courses  to over 1200 participants. 

During his time with the City of Ottawa Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Task Force (TF), Nicolas had the  opportunity to participate in two significant exercises: In 2009, Nicolas participated in the Province of Ontario annual Urban Search and Rescue deployment exercise which was held in Ottawa, Ontario. As the USAR TF Team Manager he conducted the initial reconnaissance of the response site and developed  objectives, strategies and tactics, to be conduct during the first 24 hours of the deployment. In October  2010, Nicolas participated in Magnitude 10, the National Urban Search and Rescue annual exercise in  Ottawa Ontario, where he held the function of Search Group Manager within the Ottawa Medium USAR  Task Force during the first 24 hours of the multi day exercise. 

For 14 months, Nicolas was the Search and Rescue and Emergency Management Advisor assigned to the Elliot Lake Commission of Inquiry. A Provincial Inquiry in Ontario following the July 2012 Algo Center mall collapse in Elliot Lake Ontario. His duties were to advise the Commissioner and Counsel on emergency  management and disaster response, by writing a paper highlighting various Emergency Management Acts and Regulations for Commission Staff. Reviewing documentation and actions of the responders, drafting  a list of individuals to provide testimony during the public hearings and a list of participants for a round  table prior to the writing of the Commissioners report on the response component of the Inquiry.

Nicolas participated in a Disaster and Emergency Management Master’s program, obtaining a Graduate  Diploma from Royal Roads University in 2016.