Category: SSAR Training

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Basic Searcher Training Recap

Over the past four months, our group of new recruits, including myself, has been in basic searcher training, the first step in becoming an active member of Saskatoon Search & Rescue (SSAR). Between the classroom and the field exercises there was a ton of information to absorb. Here’s a recap of our journey: In September we camped out at Blackstrap and had a busy weekend of orienteering, constructing improvised shelters, fire making, signaling (at day and night), near-water search skills, and survival discussions. It was a great weekend of testing out new gear and getting some hands-on training in the...

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An Evidence Search Training Day

The morning started with coffee. Not my personal thing, but most of the participants in the course appreciated the morning java fix provided by the Saskatoon Police Service – especially the searchers from Regina who’d left Regina at 6:00am to make it on time. The classroom part of the training was hosted at the spiffy new SPS Headquarters building. Spiffy in the sense that it’s new but also that it doesn’t feel like you’re in a police station. Then we were introduced to our first speaker, Dr. Ernie Walker. Had I not met him before on a real search I...

Our team after a search 0

The Anatomy of a Search Activation

The text tone on my phone sounds at 1:45 am. Without looking, I know it’s a message from Rebecca. She’s the main keeper of the callout list for Saskatoon Search and Rescue and the only person in my contact list for whom I have an audible alert tone. “SPS Activation 0145hrs: 75 yr old male. Missing since 1900 hrs. Dementia, other med concerns. Meet pkg lot Greystone Hts School, 2700 Main St. Available?” Our Search Manager, Jeff, has received a phone call from the Saskatoon Police Service Watch Commander requesting our help. After getting all the details and confirming we...

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A Day of Bike SAR

The morning came early on Saturday, especially for those of us who were out until midnight the night before on the search activation looking for missing Austin Carter. But there was so much excitement at the training centre that nobody seemed tired. The morning started with the typically dreaded classroom portion of any training day. Luckily, our presenter and fellow SAR member, Kent Orosz, kept this part succinct and well organized. We covered the basic theory behind bike SAR: that it is similar to regular ground SAR activities except that you move three or four times faster – which is...

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SSAR Member Involved in Search Exercise in NWT

SSAR President Jeff Baxter recently took part in a major Search and Rescue training exercise in Yellowknife, NWT. What a great experience! The exercise was run by Arctic Response Canada Ltd. as part of the Ground Search Liaison portion of the Canadian Armed Forces Land Advanced Warfare Centre’s Arctic Operations Advisor Course (AOAC). Other organizations supporting the exercise included: Yellowknife Search and Rescue RCMP Yellowknife Municipal Enforcement Division NWT Coroner Jeff’s roles included Search Manager and Exercise Director. In addition to planning appropriate search tasks to fit the scenarios and briefing the teams, he also coordinated the actors and other...