Public safety research and innovation centre (RISC Centre)

Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy, Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, Québec
What the facility does

Applied research activities, technical support and training, as well as field simulation exercises for public safety and emergency response

Areas of expertise

Recognized at the provincial level as a College Centre for Technology Transfer (CCTT) and federally as a Technology Access Centre (TAC), the Centre RISC offers public safety and emergency response expertise unique in Quebec and all of Canada. This expertise is both scientific and practical, allowing the Centre to address current concerns and issues regarding risk from both natural and anthropogenic disasters.

Its mission is to support innovation and the improvement of practices related to public safety and emergency response. One of the Centre’s major assets is its multidisciplinary experimental site, a facility unique in Quebec. The facility can be used to reproduce, at human scale, real emergency situations for use in exterior, full-scale simulation exercises. These exercises are done in a controlled, realistic and safe environment, allowing for the interoperability of participants and the development of technical and technological resources to improve emergency response.

Research services

Research: The Centre concretely assists organizational projects in their design, development and implementation of research, applied research and evaluative research, offering support and guidance to make each initiative a reality. Its services are based on the following general research areas:

  • Area 1: Natural and human hazards preparedness. The purpose of this area of research is to develop and test tools to improve our disaster preparedness;
  • Area 2: Improvement in response performance. This area of research focuses on matters such as emergency responder interoperability and response effectiveness. The challenge is to provide responders with the best combination of tools, policies and processes to maximize their performance;
  • Area 3: Security of the person. This area of research relates to the safety of citizens during a disaster. It also deals with the safety of first- responders, whose life may be endangered when their work conditions deviate from the norm.

Training and transfer: The Centre offers the necessary scientific research expertise and capacity to analyze recommendations after a disaster response to develop transfer activities. Périscope, an online training platform, provides access to unique interactive training content designed to improve public safety knowledge and practices.

Technical Services: Through its analytic, auditing, diagnostic, debriefing and coaching services, the Centre offers concrete solutions to public safety and emergency response organizations and responders based on the most up-to-date and easily applicable knowledge to enable them to respond to the challenges they face.

Sectors of application
  • Defence and security industries
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Healthcare and social services
  • Professional and technical services (including legal services, architecture, engineering)
  • Utilities

Specialized lab



Search and Rescue Station in an urban environment

Simulation containers (7)

Reproduction of a congested building to simulate a search and rescue response in an urban environment

Fire Safety Intervention Station

Fire simulation containers (6)

Reproduction of the rooms in a house for use in exercises to uncover the causes and circumstances of a fire, and to simulate a search and rescue response in a smoke-filled setting


Flash-over container

Reproduction of flash-over conditions


L-shaped container (front-of-train tank car)

L-shaped cylindrical container for locomotive fire simulations

Building response station

 Decommissioned buildings (4)

Simulation of police, paramedic and fire responses


Grain elevator

Simulation of various types of responses


Supplies and equipment storage container


Disaster site mobile command post

Emergency response mobile unit

Exercises and training

Emergency response coordination centre

Command centre including computers, wall-mounted projection screens and conference equipment

Emergency response coordination exercises from a command centre


Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality headset

Simulation exercises

  • Centre of expertise in wood construction (Centre d’expertise sur la construction en bois) (Cecobois)
  • Interdisciplinary research centre for rehabilitation and social integration (Centre interdisciplinaire de recherche en réadaptation et intégration sociale (CIRRIS)), Université Laval
  • Co-DOT Laboratory (Cognition - Distribution - Organization - Technologies), Université Laval
  • Ministry of Public Safety, Quebec government
  • France national federation of fire fighters (Fédération nationale des sapeurs-pompiers de France)
  • Marseille battalion of marine firemen (Bataillon de marins-pompiers de Marseille)
  • Hainaut provincial training institute (Institut provincial de formation du Hainaut)