City of Toronto Emergency Management Office (OEM)

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City of Toronto Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is the emergency co-ordination office for the city of Toronto, Canada.[1] Its goal is to "respond and reduce the impact of a public emergency and restore the municipality to a normal state as soon as possible" [2]

OEM was created in 1998 and succeeded a number of other emergency operations teams that existed prior to the amalgamation of Toronto with its suburbs:

  • Metropolitan Toronto Civil Defence Organization 1955
  • Metropolitan Toronto Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) 1961
  • EMO and City of Toronto Public Health Department staff redeployed to new Department of Emergency Services; later as Metropolitan Toronto Emergency Services 1966
  • MTES disbanded 1974-1975
  • Metro Toronto Police forms Emergency Planning Unit 1976
  • EPU and Public Order Unit merged to form Toronto Police Service Public Safety Unit, Emergency Management Section 1996-1997
  • Works and Emergency Services Department established Emergency Planning Office 1998-1999
  • PSU-EMS transferred to EPO 2000


OEM's Emergency Operations Centre is based in the Don Mills district of Toronto. It was used during the SARS crisis, the blackout in 2003 and after September 11 attacks in the United States in 2001.[4]

OEM works with other emergency services units in the city, as well as City Divisions and external partners. These partners are described in a number of Emergency Support Functions (ESF) which are supporting documents to the Emergency Plan. They contain the structure and framework for integrated support by lead and supporting agencies to respond to emergencies.[5] There are also a number of risk-specific plans, including the following:

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