Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada – The Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada (SARVAC) is a registered not-for-profit and educational organization that supports, coordinates, develops, informs, promotes and implements search, rescue and emergency response with the underlying principle of saving lives.
National Search and Rescue Secretariat (NSS) “NSS is a centre for SAR coordination and promotion in Canada. It coordinates central activities for the federal element of search and rescue, [and] within the non-federal jurisdiction, the NSS works directly with provincial and territorial Search and Rescue authorities and police services to develop and standardize the quantity and quality of SAR service available to the provinces and territories.” [Description from their website.] NSS also publishes the bilingual SARscene magazine, now only in .PDF format.
RCMP Role in Search and Rescue The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) is the most likely tasking agency to call on Foothills SAR to search for missing persons. The RCMP is the federal police that also provides provincial and municipal policing in most parts of Canada, and is therefore responsible for overseeing GSAR activities in their area of jurisdiction.
Canadian Forces SAR The Canadian Forces are the primary group for aeronautical SAR (ASAR) activities, and provide the air assets for maritime SAR. They have several dedicated SAR squadrons stationed on the east and west coasts, as well as Trenton, Ontario, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. They also work with, and certify, CASARA groups. See this site for information on the CH-146 Cormorant, the new SAR helicopter that became operational in 2002.
Civil Air Search And Rescue Association CASARA is a national network of local groups that work with the Canadian Forces to supply trained volunteer air SAR assets. Member-owned light aircraft and volunteer spotters and navigators supplement Forces aircraft, and the spotters fly on Forces aircraft to supply additional trained personnel. See also CASARA Ontario’s website at http://www.casaraontario.ca .
Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) The CCG provides marine SAR in Canadian waters and Canadian SAR responsibility waters.
Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (CCGA) The CCGA provides the CCG with additional volunteer resources, including SAR, education, and patrol duties.
Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada (SARVAC) SARVAC works to benefit all SAR volunteers in Canada.
Other Canadian Provincial SAR Links:
British Columbia Search and Rescue Association (BCSAR) A British Columbia group that represents BC’s SAR groups, helping groups with obtaining funding, and educating the public. specializes in technical and night searching.
SAR Info This site has lots of SAR-related information, including many links, discussion lists and chat rooms, etc. Unfortunately, the site has quite a few out-of-date and dead links.
SAR in Other Countries:
International Search and Rescue An international association whose vision is “improving SAR knowledge worldwide.” Their links page lists many SAR organizations worldwide.
COSPAS-SARSAT The home site for the international search and rescue satellite system. A constellation of low- and high-earth orbit satellites that listen for radio distress signals on 121.5, 243.0, and 406.025 MHz from ELTs, PLBs, and EPIRBs. System allows rapid triangulation to calculate position of beacon to within several kilometres (usually). Founded in 1982 by Canada, USA, France and USSR, now used by many countries.
National Association for Search and Rescue A national association for paid and non- paid SAR, disaster, and emergency medicine professionals.
Civil Air Patrol (United States) Approximately equivalent to Canada’s CASARA.
United States Coast Guard (USCG) The branch of the US military that is responsible for maritime patrol and SAR.
North Shore Rescue Located in Vancouver, British Columbia, NSR responds to about 80 callouts per year. They have several vehicles, each for a different specific purpose.
San Diego County RACES Communications Vehicle This Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service’s vehicle is intended as a stand-alone emergency operations centre. Biased towards communications rather than search and rescue.
Federal Emergency Management Agency Mobile Command Post Serving the American federal government, this vehicle is obviously designed for the overall management of an event, rather than getting involved in specific activities.