Category: SSAR Training

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Reflections on SARVAC Workshop – Saskatoon

by Dale Liebrecht This past weekend I attended the National SARVAC Workshop in Saskatoon. As a new Saskatoon Search and Rescue (SSAR) recruit, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The weekend was filled with many engaging opportunities to meet with other volunteer SAR professionals across Canada. I experienced many moments of profound admiration for the organization as the conference evolved. One of the images etched into my mind was the quiet confident glow of our longtime outgoing National SARVAC president Harry Blackmore. I regret not sitting down and having a conversation with him. His demeanor was reminiscent of a man...

SSAR Map 2014 2

2014 – A Year in Review

For Saskatoon Search and Rescue, 2014 has been an incredible year of growth. Building strong relationships, increasing membership, community support, valuable training and activations. We are riding into 2015 on a wave of enthusiasm generated by our members and support from our agencies of jurisdiction and our community! Activations We had a record number of requests for service in 2014 from the Saskatoon Police Service and RCMP. We were assigned a wide variety of tasks that included both urban and rural searches for missing persons and evidence searches. Missing Person Activations:                         11 Standby Requests (Missing Persons):        5 Evidence Search...

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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...