Canadian Consulting Engineer

Engineers respond to disaster

October 1, 2001
By Timothy I. Page, President

Association of Consulting Engineers of CanadaAt times of human tragedy like that of September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington, it's a basic human instinct to want to help in any way possible. Prom...

Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada

At times of human tragedy like that of September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington, it’s a basic human instinct to want to help in any way possible. Prominently displayed in those early days were the remarkable images of Canadians and Americans lining up to offer their blood, their money and their moral support to the victims and grieving families alike. At the same time, thousands of others with specific skills went to work to rescue and attend to those directly affected by the terrorist attacks. These included police, firefighters, medical personnel and the U.S. army corps of engineers.

Engineers play a crucial role in manmade disaster relief and mitigation efforts. In the case of New York forensic engineers helped to assess the structural integrity of buildings left standing. Engineers with project management experience helped to supervise the intricate challenge of sifting through and removing the rubble left from the fallen World Trade Towers.

If a similar event were to take place in Canada, would we be prepared?

The impact of natural disasters can be no less devastating. Often, these disasters occur in countries poorly equipped to handle the crisis entirely on their own. Canadian engineers are recognized worldwide for, among other things, their expertise in water and waste-water management, and in the creation of transportation and communication networks — all matters of critical importance in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

Whether it’s related to manmade or natural disasters, Register of Engineers for Disaster Relief, or RedR, is making a difference. RedR, through its network of 1,600 members worldwide, has been helping to relieve suffering in disasters by selecting, training and providing competent and efficient engineers and other personnel to humanitarian aid agencies world-wide. Members provide these agencies with engineering expertise and technical, logistical and management support. RedR is an international federation of non-government and non-profit organizations that share a common mission.

With your help ACEC can help to build a strong RedR Canada with an active presence in North America.

Your firm’s financial commitment for three years will help to launch RedR Canada and allow it to train and assign Canadian engineers to humanitarian agencies in times of need. Your firm’s contributions will be recognized on the ACEC and RedR Canada web sites as well as in Canadian Consulting Engineer magazine and in ACEC’s Communiqu newsletter.

If you want to join the growing list of consulting engineering firms who are financially supporting RedR Canada contact ACEC’s National Office, 616-130 Albert St. Ottawa, ON K1P 5G4, by mail, or by fax to (613) 236-6193.

In addition to providing much needed support to people in time of need, RedR Canada may also help to raise the image of engineering in Canada and improve client and public perceptions of the value of our professional services and of our personal commitment to help people.

For more information on RedR Canada I invite you to refer to its newly created Web-site at


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