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Saskatoon Search & Rescue

August 2014 Newsletter

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What's Happening 


Summer is always a bit slower from a training perspective but, this year, September is going to make up for that big time! In addition to welcoming a new group of Basic Searcher candidates there's much more being planned. SSAR Members, check out the list below and start filling up your calendar!

As always, we just couldn't do all that we do without members who put in extra time and effort to make things happen. Thanks so much to: 

  • Rebecca Basset and Jarod Harvey for hosting the Prospective Members' Meeting on July 8. 
  • Jeff Baxter for leading the advanced navigation session on July 10. 
  • Dale Johnstone for leading the Bike SAR session on July 15. 
  • All the members who assisted Saskatoon EMO to staff the NotifyNow booth at Taste of Saskatchewan -- Shelley Ballard-McKinlay, Rick Barsky, Rebecca Basset, Jeff Baxter, Sherry Buller, Maggie Charron, Mike Galbiati-Bourassa, Cam McLelland, Rod Miskolczi, Diane VanBrabant, Mark Wells and Scott Wright.

We also have a lot of support in the community and want to thank ShelterBox Canada and ShelterBox Ambassador Neil Wylie for donating one of their decommissioned tents to SSAR. The tent is a valuable addition to our equipment inventory and we see it being used during longer searches or training exercises, especially during inclement weather, or as a first aid station at various events we are involved in. 


During the Past Month

group photo"Big thank you to all the police and volunteers for helping find my son. It was the scariest night of my life. Thank you with all my heart!"  - Email to police and SSAR from a very relieved mother.

At approximately 2 am, July 23, SSAR members were activated by the Saskatoon Police Service to search for a missing 6-year-old boy. Eleven members were on scene within the hour. The boy was located in a home shortly after 7 am and police returned him to his mother. 

Training and Events

Monthly Training Meetings

Training sessions are generally held the first Thursday and Saturday of the month. All Thursday evening sessions are held at the Fire Training Centre, 116 Ave W S, unless otherwise specified. Field days are generally held the following Saturday. 

Thursday, Aug 7 – 7 pm, advanced navigation training. Meet in the parking lot approximately 1 km north of the Regional Psychiatric Centre on Central Avenue. 
Thursday, Aug 21 – Basic Searcher Course introductory session, 7 pm at the Fire Training Centre.
Thursday, Sept 4 – Basic Searcher Course, 7 pm at the Fire Training Centre.

Sat/Sun Sept 6 & 7 – Starting at 9 am. Location to be confirmed. This will be a two-day basic skills and safety portion of the Basic Searcher Course with additional topics such as near-water search, shelter building, night searching, signaling, minor first aid scenarios, and basic search types as the focus. The overnight portion is not mandatory but organized activities will not end until late in the evening (~10:30 pm) and commence on Sunday at 8:30 am.  You will be encouraged to stay the night either in tents or improvised shelters. At the Sept 4 session we will let everyone know the final things you will need to bring. Typically you are responsible for your own food/water and clothing for the weather and activities.  ** Note: Members requiring Basic Searcher recertification must also attend this weekend. Team Leaders are encouraged to attend to assist with instruction and to lead scenarios.
Thursday, Sept 11 – 7 pm
Saturday, Sept 13 - Field Day – time/location TBD

Saturday, Sept 20 - Evidence Search Training, 9 am - 5 pm, starting in classroom and then an outside location. Instructors will be Sgt. Pete Garvey and Dr. Ernie Walker. Sgt. Garvey is with the Saskatchewan RCMP search and rescue team, has worked in the RCMP Forensic Identification Section and has taught evidence search to new recruits at Depot Division. Dr. Walker is a Professor at the U of S, a Forensic Anthropologist and a S/Cst with the RCMP. He has worked on over 70 homicide investigations during his career and is very highly respected by police services across Canada. (Note that attendance at this training day may be limited. Details are still being worked out.)

Thursday, Sept 25 - Search Exercise with RCMP. Location, time (all day) and further details to follow once confirmed. Due to the nature of this exercise, you must have Basic Searcher certification to attend this training.
Thursday, Oct 2 – 7 pm
Saturday, Oct 4 - Field Day – time/location TBD
Thursday, Nov 6 – 7 pm
Saturday, Nov 8 - Field Day – time/location TBD
December – Basic Searcher candidates will have a final skills assessment and knowledge review. Date/time/location TBD.  

SARSAV Meeting

The next meeting of the Search and Rescue Saskatchewan Association of Volunteers (SARSAV) is Saturday, Sept 6, at 9:30 am at the Saskatoon Travelodge. The meeting is open to all members in good standing of Saskatchewan SAR chapters. 

SARscene Conference

The annual SARscene conference is being held Oct 30 - Nov 3 in Niagara Falls, ON. Registration is now open and a schedule of presentations and training is on their website

Executive and Directors Meeting

The next SSAR Executive and Directors meeting will be held on Thursday, Aug 28, at 7 pm. These are business-style meetings of our chapter and are held the last Thursday of each month. All members are welcome to attend. If you would like to speak to an issue concerning SSAR, please notify the President prior to the meeting so time can be allotted on the agenda. If you would like a copy of the minutes from any past meetings, please email us

And More . . . 

Check our website calendar for more events and training information. 
What else would you like to see in the SSAR newsletter? Do you have something that should be included next month? Please email the Communications Director with your ideas, comments and feedback. Thanks!
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