Keeping you up to date on the latest news and events in the world of Saskatoon Search and Rescue
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Saskatoon Search & Rescue

August 2015

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What's Happening 


The final fundraising tally for our 31 Days of SSAR campaign was just over $39,000! Thank you so much to everyone, individuals and businesses alike, who showed such incredible support for our organization.Top fundraisers included Sean Taylor, Shelley Ballard-McKinlay, Tracy VanBrabant, Rebecca Basset, Chris Franko and Diane VanBrabant. Several businesses took "the challenge" to donate $500 or more. Thanks to Winmar Saskatoon, Cheetham's Pharmacy, Vaughn Wyant Automotive Group, Elite Property Management, MD Ambulance, Lardners Trailer Sales and RelyEx Contracting. And, last but not least, huge thanks also to the team at  who have a great fundraising platform and amazing customer support! 

In our rush to get the last newsletter out and publish the names of the incoming executive members, we neglected to recognize the outgoing members and, for this, we apologize! Thank you Jeff Baxter, Floyd Besserer, Nelson Martell and Rod Miskolczi for all your work and dedication to furthering the goals of SSAR. It's very much appreciated! Special thanks to Jeff Baxter who has now moved west and will no doubt join another SAR team once settled in. You will be greatly missed, Jeff, but your many accomplishments will continue to benefit our team. 

SSAR had four of our members volunteer their time and go up North to help in the fire fighting efforts. Each of the members had a positive experience and came back with a greater appreciation and respect for nature and the people that deal with these situations on a more regular basis. Thank you Don Brophy, Tracy VanBrabant, Louis Bossaer and Jaime Storch.

On June 4 our members had a great night of training and improving our GPS skills, Thank you to Kent Orosz and Shelley Ballard-Mckinlay for leading this session.

We would also like to thank Jeff Baxter for organizing his last training day with SSAR on June 6. It was another successful day of radio and equipment testing. Jeff Baxter,  we will miss you and your knowledge and experience. Best of luck to you and your family on your next adventure.

Thanks to the Search and Rescue Saskatchewan Association of Volunteers and the Saskatoon Fire Department. Because of the Water Education Taskforce, New Initiatives Fund (NIF) grant from last year, we now have five new Mustang PFD's and two throw bags to add to our inventory of near-water search gear. Thank you!

SSAR members were out at the Saskatoon Police Service barbecue on July 8. This was the first year for the event at the new Headquarters building and there was a great turnout! Lots of people showed interest in SSAR and there were lots of kids loving the SSAR tattoos. Thank you to Sean Taylor, Shawn Bursey, Stu Stevenson, Stefani Longueil, Kent Orosz, Sherry Buller, Mark Wells and Rick Barsky for staffing our display. 

Dale Johnstone, along with his canine partner, Boomer, took part in the Basic Search Dog Seminar held in Regina, July 10-12 and instructed by Mary-Ann Warren of Precision Search Dog. Together, they learned the basic foundation for search dog training in areas of scent, search theory, evidence and people finding. Thanks to Lloyd Goodwill of Search and Rescue Regina and Sgt. Pete Garvey of Saskatchewan RCMP for arranging the course. It proved so popular that the next level of training is coming in October! See below for more information. 

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. 

Upcoming Training events:

NOTE: The Basic Searcher Course and regularly scheduled training for all members is occurring on many similar dates and times. Please review carefully to know what sessions apply to you. Members are always welcome and encouraged to attend the Basic Searcher sessions to practice their skills and provide leadership in the field. 

Thursday, August 13 - Navigation night 7pm - meet at the North Circle Drive pedway on the Spadina Cr. side. 

Tuesday, August 25 - Edible plant walk 630pm - Saskatoon Wildlife Federation

Wednesday, August 26 - Basic Searchers - 7pm - classroom
Thursday, September 3 - Basic Searchers - 7pm - classroom

Thursday, September 10 - STARS landing zone training - 7pm - location to be emailed
Saturday and Sunday, September 12 and 13 - Basic Searchers/All Members - overnight/near water search training, 8am Saturday - 5pm Sunday, Beaver Creek Conservation Area
Saturday September 19 - Members only (not Basic Searcher candidates) - individual and team skills, Northern fire debrief, dog skills course debrief  - 9am - 5pm - Location TBD

Thursday, October 1 - Basic Searchers - Navigation theory; Members - dusk/evening search - 7pm - classroom
Saturday, October 3 - Basic Searchers - Navigation Field Exercise; Members - Mini exercises  - 9am - 5 pm - Sutherland Beach Dog Park

Thursday, November 5 - Command Staff only - Table top exercises and meeting -7pm - classroom
Thursday, November 12 - Basic Searchers/All Members - night search - 7pm - parking lot 1 km north of Regional Psychiatric Centre
Saturday, November 14 - Basic Searchers/All Members - theory, search types, note-taking expectations, evidence handling, and basic search tasks. There will be a review at the end of the day. 9am - classroom

Thursday, December 3 - Basic Searchers – Written test, final remarks, call out procedures, etc. Members - hypothermia review, winter search preparedness, mini table top exercises, accident report form review, and patient record form review. Command staff – final prep for December exercise - 7pm - classroom
Saturday, December 5 - Members - winter exercise - mid day to after midnight  location TBD; Basic Searchers - final field day testing in the morning.


Prospective Members' Meeting


Are you considering becoming a volunteer with Saskatoon Search and Rescue? We are having a Prospective Members' Meeting on August 6 at 7pm in the classroom at the Fire Training Centre, 116 Ave W S. We use this as a chance to answer questions and provide information about the commitment required as a volunteer and all the awesome things out chapter does for training and community engagement!

Email us to register for this meeting. The next Basic Searcher Course will start at the end of August. 


Search Dog Bootcamp

After the success of the Search Dog Basics Seminar, a Search Dog Bootcamp is now being planned to expand upon the skills learned in Basics. It will be held in Regina, October 3-4, 2015. Cost is $125 per dog team and the Basics course is a prerequisite. Instruction by Precision Search Dog. More information will be provided as it becomes available. 

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. 

SARVAC Conference

A conference hosted by SARVAC (Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada) will be held at the Travelodge Hotel in Saskatoon, November 6 - 8. All Saskatchewan SAR members are encouraged to attend. More details to come! 

Executive and Directors Meeting

The next SSAR Executive and Directors meeting will be held on Thursday, August 27, 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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