Halton Healthcare Practices Emergency Response

April 25, 2024

(Oakville, ON) – On Thursday, April 25, 2024, Halton Healthcare, in partnership with the Regional Municipality of Halton, Oakville Fire Department, Halton Regional Police Service, Halton Region Paramedic Services and the Town of Oakville, conducted a mock emergency preparedness exercise to practice the emergency response to a disaster in the community.

The exercise began at 9:30 am after a hypothetical truck transporting Anhydrous Ammonia lost control, resulting in a release of the chemical near Dorval Drive and Speers Road in Oakville.

During the exercise more than 75 mock patients were transported to the Emergency Department at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH), resulting in the hospital declaring a mock Code Orange CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) Stage 3. The hospital would call a Code Orange in the event of a disaster that increases the number of patients received in the Emergency Department, which could affect many other areas of the hospital.

The mock Code Orange gave participants valuable hands-on experience in managing a crisis. By simulating a realistic scenario, the exercise allowed our teams and first responders to test their emergency response plans.

“Exercises like this enable us to test our protocols, identify areas for improvement and ultimately strengthen our ability to ensure we are well prepared to care for our community in the event of a disaster,” said Melissa Farrell, President & CEO, Halton Healthcare. “Effective communication is critical in emergencies, so it was a great opportunity to work with our external partners on a complete response.”  

We would like to thank our patients, visitors and community for their understanding as we completed this important exercise training.

It should be noted that the exercise was conducted separately from the hospital’s regular operations to ensure that real patient care was not affected.



“Anhydrous Ammonia is a toxic gas or liquid that, when concentrated, is corrosive to tissues upon contact. Oakville Fire was able to simulate a mock response with our specialty trained Hazardous Materials team and Command officers.”

Paul Boissonneault, Fire Chief, Oakville Fire Department


“It is extremely valuable for Halton Region Paramedic Services to participate in exercises like today, as it allows us to collaborate with our emergency services partners, OTMH, the Town of Oakville and our colleagues at Halton Region. These exercises also allow us to test areas like inter-agency communication and patient transfer processes to ensure a robust response is available to the community.”

Greg Sage, Chief of Paramedic Services, Region of Halton