British Columbia Forensic Odontology Response Team (BC-FORT)

Operation: DENT-ID

Regularly since 1998, BC-FORT has staged a mock scenario to simulate a disaster involving mass casualties. These scenarios are called Operation: DENT-ID. They provide valuable experience for team members by attempting to illustrate the various stresses and complications that can occur when teams respond to sites to recover, examine and identify deceased victims. Participants are assigned to teams that work through the supplied antemortem dental records to interpret, extract and transcribe unique identification traits. By rotating through workstations during the exercise, the specialized teams also conduct postmortem examinations, including victim dental charting, radiography and photography. These antemortem and postmortem data are transcribed to BC-FORT identification forms and uploaded into the computer database. Victim identification software produces best possible matches from the databases. These matching records are analyzed and physically compared, Then identification reports are prepared and submitted to the Identification Committee. BC-FORT is currently using protocols refined as part of the team's involvement in the Thailand Tsunami Victim Identification response. The training usually occurs on a weekend. Previous venues have included the RCMP Pacific Region Training Centre (Chilliwack) and RCMP E-Division Headquarters (Vancouver). Customarily, 12-14 CDE credits are awarded for participation in Operation: DENT-ID.