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Canada-US Enhanced Resiliency Experiment IV (CAUSE IV)

What is CAUSE IV?

The fourth annual Canada-United States (U.S.) Enhanced Resiliency Experiment, or CAUSE IV, is an experiment that aims to demonstrate how technologies can enable Canadian and U.S. emergency management officials and responders to exchange information as an incident unfolds.

It is a technology experiment that provides participants with opportunities to use technology in a simulated environment to develop knowledge on how the technology and applications perform under different scenarios. This information can then be used to confirm the functionality and value of the technology as well as the benefits to the operational community, determine what changes need to be made to improve the technology, and what procedures and training are needed to maximize its use.

The CAUSE series began in 2011 as a collaborative effort between Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science (DRDC CSS), Public Safety Canada and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, in partnership with various provincial, municipal and non-governmental organizations.


The objective of the CAUSE experiment series is to demonstrate that improvements to shared situational awareness and interoperable communications during emergency events can lead to enhanced community resilience.

The specific objectives for Vignette 1 are to:

  • Establish and field test cross-border 700MHz PSBN wireless network capability; and
  • Examine cross-border voice and data communications between paramedic services, healthcare and border officials (e.g., transmission of electrocardiogram tracing, live video, patient records, vehicle tracking).

The specific objectives of Vignette 2 are to:

  • Compare and contrast various channels of public notification to measure reach within the community;
  • Develop a Concept of Operations that helps define how digital volunteers work with emergency operation centres (EOC), both for operations and communications; and
  • Evaluate information sharing gathered from social media between EOCs across the border.



CAUSE IV will use one scenario, broken down into two vignettes conducted from April 26-28, 2016. The scenario will be a severe thunderstorm, which spawns a tornado.

Vignette 1

Vignette 1, led by Canada, involves paramedic, health stakeholders and wireless communications interoperability. Cross-border voice communications between ambulances, dispatch centres and hospitals will be tested, as well as transmission of health diagnostics including video and patient charting information from ambulances to hospitals. Voice and written data, as well as video communications between the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) border station, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) border station and bridge authorities will also be tested.

Vignette 2

Vignette 2, led by the U.S., will focus on alerts, warnings, notifications, and digital volunteers. It will compare and contrast various methods of public notification to measure reach within the community. Some of these methods include social media, digital volunteers, and commercial notification software. The use of the National Public Alerting System (NPAS) in Canada will also be tested, in conjunction with the U.S. system, the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).


Featured Technologies

CAUSE IV aims to demonstrate several technical capabilities, among them:

  • LTE or Long-Term Evolution technology generally associated with broadband wireless or advanced mobile network technologies such as 4G that increase the capacity and speed of wireless data networks.
  • Paramedic dispatching software.
  • Electronic patient care and cardiac rhythm software.
  • Auto-vehicle location technology used to monitor and track the movement of the ambulance as paramedics travel across the border.
  • Social media integration.
  • The National Public Alerting System (NPAS), which is a multi-channel Federal-Provincial-Territorial all-hazards system that provides emergency management organizations throughout Canada with a standard alerting capability to warn the public through radio, cable television, satellite television, e-mail and SMS text services.
  • The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), which is a U.S. system that provides public safety officials with an effective way to alert and warn the public about serious emergencies using the Emergency Alert System (EAS), Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio, and other public alerting systems from a single interface. 


Participating Organizations

From Canada

  • Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science (DRDC CSS)
  • Public Safety Canada (PS)
  • Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
  • Communications Research Centre (CRC) of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED)
  • City of Sarnia
  • CANUS Communications Interoperability Working Group (CIWG)
  • Lambton County
  • Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Emergency Health and Services Branch
  • The Federal Bridge Corporation Limited
  • Bluewater Health

From the United States

  • United States Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate (DHS S&T)
  • DHS Office of Emergency Communications (OEC)
  • DHS Office of University Programs (OUP)
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  • CANUS Communications Interoperability Working Group (CIWG)
  • National Information Sharing Consortium (NISC)
  • DHS Virtual Social Media Working Group (VSMWG)
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB)
  • Lake Huron Medical Centre
  • Michigan State Police, Emergency Management & Homeland Security Division
  • Michigan Department of Transportation - Blue Water Bridge
  • Michigan211
  • Saint Clair County, Michigan Office of Emergency Management
  • Tri-Hospital Emergency Medical Services
  • Texas A&M University
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