KITCHENER -- The Canadian Armed Forces were training in Meaford over the weekend.

Around 80 soldiers from local Canadian Army Reserve units participated. Units from Kitchener, Cambridge, Guelph and Hamilton took part and were supported by helicopters from the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The exercise tested rapid deployment, with soldiers working in teams to complete fire drills.

This type of training ensures soldiers are ready to respond to emergencies like wildfires or floods in Canadian communities.

Many members are students at the University of Guelph or University of Waterloo.

"It's a great chance for many people. We have university professors, high school students, university students and teachers, all professions," said Sgt. Heather Kenny.

"And they get to come together, do something great and serve their country."

The unit trains regularly in Guelph and Hamilton on Thursday evenings.

Part-time soldiers usually conduct field exercises once a month on weekends.