Saskatoon Search and Rescue members attend several events each year in order to promote our chapter, recruit new members, fundraise and provide education to the public about Preventative Search and Rescue (PSAR).
Examples of events include:
- Displays at the Saskatoon Police Community Barbecue, the City of Saskatoon Neighbourhood Safety Fair and the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour.
- We provided first aid support to events such as the Meewasin’s Family Skating Parties, Foamfest and other events.
- Fundraising dinners, 31 Days of SSAR campaign.
- PSAR presentations to various youth and adult groups, utilizing the AdventureSmart program.
General Training Information
Monthly training meetings are generally held the first Thursday of each month starting at 7 pm at the Fire Training Centre at 116 Avenue W South, Saskatoon, unless otherwise noted. Field days are generally held the Saturday following the training meeting. These days are subject to change depending on instructor availability. Some exercises are done as joint training with our agencies of jurisdiction and this may also affect training days.
May of each year is generally a busy training month as we recognize National Emergency Preparedness Week and Provincial Missing Persons Week and plan training around these themes.
The training meetings are designed to continue to develop the skills learned in various courses and to build upon and test these skills in training exercises/scenarios and field days.
Within our chapter we have the opportunity for people to specialize with advanced training. These include areas such as: Team Leader Training, Search Management, Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), Mountain Bike SAR, Near Water Search, Preventative SAR (PSAR) and more.
Basic Searcher Course
The Basic Searcher Course is the foundation course for all search and rescue responders and is delivered over a four-month period through a combination of classroom and field sessions. Topics include an introduction to SAR, SAR equipment, rescue and survival skills, introduction to search tactics and lost person behavior and much more. This course is mostly held on the same dates and times as the regular training but is run as a separate program.
Near-Water Search Training
“A river runs through it . . .” Our search activations often take us near bodies of water – rivers, lakes, sloughs, swamps. And often that water can be very fast flowing such as the South Saskatchewan River that runs through Saskatoon. The near-water search course was developed to provide direction and guidance on how to operate and search safely near water and to ensure our members are properly equipped and trained for this task.
Team Leader Course
This course is for those members who will lead a SAR team in the field during activation. Topics include the duties and responsibilities of a Team Leader, search tactics and search skills, documentation and communication skills, brief and debrief skills and team leader decision making. Even if members do not wish to be a Team Leader, we encourage all members to take the course to add to their knowledge and skills.
Search Management Courses
The Initial Response Incident Commander Course is designed to lead the search manager through the first operational period of a search. Some of the major topics in this two-day course include search management philosophy, Incident Command System (ICS), mission overview, first notice, initial response, search area identification, how to search, and much more.
The Managing Search Operations Course is for search managers who will direct search activities into second and subsequent operational periods. The course is an additional three days and some of the topics include mathematically based search theory and application, logistics for extended operations, responder safety, care and utilization for extended operational periods, dealing with media, and utilizing SAR software.
All Saskatoon Search and Rescue members must have maintain a basic level of standard first aid and CPR however many members of the team have higher levels of first aid and medical training. First aid and trauma scenarios are often incorporated into our regular training.
Bike Search and Rescue Course
Bicycles are a valuable resource in search and rescue. Bikes provide SAR members the ability to cover terrain faster than someone on foot, can often go places that vehicles cannot and are a useful tool for getting equipment out in the field where needed. The Bike SAR course covers the roles and tasks of bikes, bike maintenance and field repairs, search tactics and formations, and technical riding techniques.
AdventureSmart Presenter Training
In addition to our mission of searching for lost or missing persons and assisting in non-search emergencies, the goal of all SAR teams is to also provide education and awareness to try and reduce the number and seriousness of search and rescue incidents. SSAR members may be trained as an AdventureSmart presenter for programs such as Hug-a-Tree and Survive, Survive Outside and others.
The Saskatoon Search and Rescue Training Committee is continually looking for other relevant training opportunities for our members. Critical Incident Stress Management and Incident Command System training are just two examples.
The Incident Command System (ICS) is an internationally recognized command system that coordinates the actions of emergency responders at the incident site(s) with the support staff at the Emergency Operations Center. The Basic Emergency Preparedness course and various levels of ICS training are offered through Saskatoon Emergency Measures Organization. SSAR members wanting to take courses through EMO shall first contact the Training Director and complete the required application form. The Incident Command System ICS 100 may be taken online. (This includes the Home Study Package and the Multiple Choice Exam. Although not required, you may also wish to look at the ICS Incident Briefing Forms)