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

January 2017

A Year in Review 


We accomplished A LOT in 2016! Nineteen incidents involving 22 missing persons; training, events and administrative work; over 4,100 hours volunteered. Read about it here

Mental Health First Aid

Training Course


Thanks to sponsorship from the Dakota Dunes Community Development Corporation we were able to host a Mental Health First Aid Course January 7-8. Instructors Cst. Derek Chesney and Cst. Jeff Nachtegaele from the Saskatoon Police Service shared their experience and expertise and made it a very interesting two days. Alex Scott, Director of Family Programs for Autism Services of Saskatoon also provided guidance specific to missing persons with autism.

Rebecca Basset summed up the course in this way: "People are familiar with First Aid training and the importance of knowing simple things we can do to help someone who is hurt or sick until they can be helped by someone with more advanced medical knowledge. One critical thing we crave to learn is how to prevent things from getting worse. In addition to this, the emphasis is on recognizing signs and symptoms. Mental illness is prevalent in our society and, much like an injury, it needs to be recognized and compassionately cared for until the person gets more advance care. Mental Health First Aid training sheds light on signs and symptoms we may encounter and reinforces simple steps we can take to help in the immediate event. Our members are often faced with the opportunity to provide temporary first aid to someone suffering through a mental illness event. But more so, there is a lot of self-reflection and camaraderie that develops when a team such as ours takes a course that highlights the subtle assumptions and struggles we all have as humans and as first responders. Without training like this we would just be guessing or completely unaware of not only the warning signs and symptoms but also the first aid necessary until professional help is obtained."

In addition to SSAR members attending, we were happy to host members from other Search and Rescue Saskatchewan Association of Volunteers chapters including Search And Rescue Regina, Prince Albert North SAR and North Corman Park SAR (Dalmeny Fire and Rescue).

New Member Training 

Starts This Month!

A final recruit information session was held on January 5 with more than a dozen people coming out to learn more about SSAR and decide if it's a good fit for them. Thanks to Rebecca Basset for again leading this session. 

The Basic Searcher Course for the new members-in-training starts this week and we're excited to pass on our knowledge and passion for SAR to more people. 

What's Happening 


Thanks to Tracy and Diane VanBrabant for hosting our annual SAR Christmas party. So much good food and it was a pleasure to be able to socialize after an intense day out in the field. The gift exchange theme this year was "I found this for you in orange ..." and it was a big hit! 

December's training focused on hypothermia and cold weather issues, a bit of navigation, and solving communication issues in the event of a disaster situation. Dale Liebrecht did a fun and dramatic video of the hypothermia wraps. In early January, a few of us taught the same session to the Saskatoon Police Service SAR team. We think they had fun too! 

Thanks to Luc Duval from STARS Air Ambulance for providing a couple of our members with the opportunity for additional Landing Zone training. Mark Wells and Dale Liebrecht attended. Mark guided the helicopter and Dale was the video guy who again produced a fun short film.  :-) 

SARVAC conference Thanks once again to Search and Rescue Saskatchewan Association of Volunteers and Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada for a great weekend of training in December. Special thanks to those individuals who were involved in organizing the event and to all the presenters for sharing their knowledge. And of course to all the members of SAR chapters from across the province for attending and working together to improve SAR in the province. Special thanks to our members, Dale Liebrecht who, along with Sgt. Wade Bourassa, presented about how SSAR works with the Saskatoon Police Service Air Support Unit; and Shelley Ballard-McKinlay who provided interested chapters with information about applying for charitable status.

Thanks to Lardners Trailer Sales for once again looking after the annual maintenance on our command post trailer, the amazing community support and making sure our trailer is in top notch condition for the year ahead!

Thanks to Global News Morning Saskatoon for inviting us to come and talk about SSAR. We love the opportunities to get information out to the public about who we are and what we do. 



On December 18, SSAR members were activated by the Saskatoon Police Service for a missing 88 yr old male with early onset dementia. Sadly, Philip Noonan was located deceased. His family wrote a beautiful letter, thanking all those who were involved in searching for their loved one. 

On January 1, we were put on standby by the Saskatoon Police Service as they did their initial investigation regarding a missing 64 yr old male. Thankfully, he was located safe. 

Training and Events

Monthly Training Meetings

Training sessions are generally held the first Thursday and Saturday of the month unless otherwise noted. Location of the training will be announced prior to each date. 

The next Basic Searcher Course starts in January and will finish in May. The course will run in conjunction with Advanced SAR Skills training for current members. 

Thursday, January 12 - 1900 to 2200
Saturday, January 14 - 0900 to 1700

Thursday, February 2 - 1900 to 2200
Saturday, February 4 - 0900 to 1700

Thursday, March 16 - 1900 to 2200 (Note date change on this set from previous newsletter!)
Saturday, March 18 - 0900 to 1700

Thursday, April 6 - 1900 to 2200
Saturday, April 8 - 0900 to 1700

Thursday, May 4 - 1900 to 2200
Saturday - Sunday, May 6-7 - Overnight weekend and final testing for members in training. 


SARSAV Quarterly Meeting and Additional Training

The SARSAV (Search and Rescue Saskatchewan Association of Volunteers) quarterly meeting is being held on Saturday, March 11, 0930 hrs at the Saskatoon Fire, Staff Development Centre, 116 Ave W S, Saskatoon. All members of SARSAV chapters are welcome to attend. 

In addition, a Search Manager Forum and Communications Technical Workshop will be held from 1300 - 1600 hrs. The Forum is an opportunity for SMIRIC and MSO-trained personnel to get together and discuss best practices and share ideas. The session will be led by experienced SM personnel. This Communications workshop is aimed at helping SARSAV chapters get the most out of their comms equipment. Led by an expert in the communications field, the workshop will allow participants to learn some best practices related to radio use, study a well-built comms system, and ask any questions or get help with any problems they may be having in getting the SARSAV radio components working their best.

Team Leader Course

The next team leader course will be held April 20 (evening) and April 22-23. Those members who wish to become a Team Leader, need to re-certify or simply want an opportunity to learn more should plan to attend. 


Multi-Jurisdictional Search Exercise

The next MJSE, hosted by SARSAV and organized by North Corman Park SAR, will be held May 12-14. More details will be provided when available.

Executive and Directors Meeting

The next SSAR Executive and Directors meetings will be held on Thursday, January 19, at 7 pm. These are business-style meetings of our chapter and are generally 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
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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