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Saskatoon Search & Rescue

June 2015

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31 Days of SSAR Campaign

Overwhelming Success!

The 31 Days of SSAR campaign had three purposes:
  1. To educate the public about search and rescue in Saskatchewan and Preventative Search and Rescue (PSAR) topics;
  2. To raise awareness of National Emergency Preparedness Week and Provincial Missing Persons Week, May 3-9, 2015; and
  3. To raise the funds required to complete our Emergency Communications Project and to fund additional training, equipment and uniform needs. 
It would be an understatement to simply say the campaign was a success. From a fundraising perspective, we had an ambitious goal to raise $31,000 in 31 days and we more than met that goal. We had two fantastic fundraising events and two major donations came from the Saskatoon Police Half Marathon ($4,000) and a very generous anonymous donor ($12,000). Not to mention the great support from the business community and all the smaller donations that really added up to big dollars! Final results will be featured in the July newsletter. 

Gear Swap/Consignment and Garage Sale

There are so many people to thank for our Gear Swap & Garage Sale held on May 2. Thanks to Chris Franko, Paul Nutter, Kent Orosz for organizing the event, as well as Shelley Ballard-McKinlay, Rebecca Basset, Don Brophy, Sherry Buller, Henry Eng, Stefani Longueil, Shelly Ottley, Jeff Rock, Sean Taylor, Jessica Vandenheuvel for helping with sales and keeping things running smoothly the day of the event. Shelley, Shelly, Paul, Sean, Jaime and Mark Wells also provided baked goods for sale at the event. Of course, a huge thanks to everyone who supported the sale. We raised over $4,300 from this event alone!

Barbecue and PSAR Display

The very next day, May 3, was the barbeque with the assistance of SaskEnergy's natural gas community barbecue program. Shawn Bursey organized this event at Cabela's. Thanks to Aaron Anton, Shelley Ballard-McKinaly, Rebecca Basset, Don Brophy and Sean Taylor for helping out. Just over $1,000 was raised at this event.

Inside Cabela's, Sherry Buller and Jaime Storch presented AdventureSmart information to a number of children and adults to prepare them for outdoor activities.

Other Events and Media

On May 6, Jaime Storch and Sean Taylor did an AdventureSmart presentation for the Saskatoon Police Service Cadet program. 

During this busy month, media interviews where given by Shelley Ballard-McKinlay, Rebecca Basset, Jeff Baxter, Shawn Bursey, and Sean Taylor; Special thanks to Shelly Ottley for organizing most of this. The media features focused on Emergency Preparedness and Missing Persons Week in addition to the fundraising part of the campaign. 

Several videos were done to provide educational information to the public and also featured what SSAR does. Thanks to Shelley Ballard-McKinlay for recording and editing the videos and thanks to all the members and our supporters who took part in the videos. It was great to see the support of our donors and agencies of jurisdiction in this introductory video. 

What's Happening 


Even with all the events and fundraising, we didn't let our training take a back seat. After pre-course work, a classroom session, an evening of urban search and a 13-hour day in a rural setting, we now have seven new Team Leaders! Congratulations to Don Brophy, Sherry Buller, Shawn Bursey, Shelly Ottley, Sean Taylor, Diane VanBrabant and Tracy VanBrabant. Thanks to the instructors, Jeff Baxter, Rebecca Basset, Dale Johnstone, Shelley Ballard-McKinlay and Mark Wells. Thank you also to prospective members Kelly Oldham, Jackie Thaller and Prem Sharma who came out and gave our candidates more people to lead. 

Congratulation to our new Executive and Directors who were elected at our Annual General Meeting on May 28. 

President: Shelley Ballard-McKinlay
Vice President: Rebecca Basset
Secretary: Mark Wells
Treasurer: Sherry Buller
Membership Director: Jarod Harvey
Fundraising Director: Sean Taylor
Logistics Director: Henry Eng
Communications Director: Shelly Ottley
Training Director: Rebecca Basset 
PSAR Director: Jaime Storch
Members At Large: Kent Orosz, Shawn Bursey 

Emergency Communications Project

Fully Funded!

Although we still have a few small items to purchase, the Emergency Communications Project is now fully funded. Many thanks to all the donors noted below and those who donated to the 31 Days of SSAR campaign. 

A media conference will be held on Thursday, June 4 at 1:30 pm at Firehall #6 (Taylor St & Acadia Dr). Representatives from our two major donors, the Kinsmen Club of Saskatoon and Dakota Dunes Community Development Corporation, and the Saskatoon Police Service representing our agencies of jurisdiction, will speak about why they supported this project and what it means to the community moving forward. 

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. 

June 4 - 7 pm - GPS review, accident reports and debrief of the Team Leader training course.
June 6 - Meet at 1 pm at the parking lot 1 km north of the Regional Psychiatric Centre on Central Avenue. There will be a wide variety of tasks and further testing of the emergency communications system. 

Summer training evenings:
Wednesday, July 8 - Location TBD
Thursday, August 13 - Location TBD


Search Dog Basics

This seminar is being held in Regina, July 10 (Friday evening), July 11-12 (full days) and is open to everyone. Further details and registration form can be accessed from our website calendar

SARscene Conference

The annual SARscene conference is being held Oct 22 - 26 in Charlottetown, PEI.  This is always a great training event! Check out the website for more information. 

Executive and Directors Meeting

The next SSAR Executive and Directors meeting will be held on Thursday, July 30, 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. 

Thank You

For Your Support

Thank you so much to these community-minded organizations who support the work of Saskatoon Search and Rescue and have helped to fund our Emergency Communications Project
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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