In 1976, the RCMP formed the first Emergency Response Team (ERT) to address the growing threat of critical incidents with levels of danger beyond normal expectations and exceeding the safe operation limits of regular police personnel.
Prior to this, a Hostage and Rescue Patrol (HARP) team fulfilled the role, although its purpose was strictly one of containment. Since then, ERTs have borrowed and modified tactics used in SWAT and military operations and combined them with police techniques to create an all-purpose and highly adaptable law enforcement team
-To provide tactical support against potential armed resistance if a situation deteriorates to the point that loss of life is imminent and where all other realistic attempts at resolution have failed.
-To preserve the lives of hostages, team members, and perpetrators.
-To resolve all incidents peacefully with minimum force.
An ERT consists of members trained extensively in tactical procedures and weaponry. The highly specialized skills of ERT members prepare them for resolving matters involving armed aggression and resistance, such as:
-Serious Crime arrest warrants
-Armed barricaded subjects