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

April 2015

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What's Happening 


It's official! As of March 1, 2015, Saskatoon Search and Rescue became a charitable organization. A lot of hard work, time and effort went into gathering information and submitting the application, but we will soon be able to issue tax receipts for charitable donations. We still have some work to do to get a link for donations set up on our website, but progress is being made! This is a huge step forward for us and opens so many more doors for us in terms of fundraising and sustainability. Stay tuned for more information and check out our 31 Days of SSAR campaign and other fundraising initiatives below. 

While we're busy with fundraising, we still have to train! We've got a busy few months coming up with the Team Leader Course, a major search exercise and testing new radio equipment. 

Thanks to Rebecca Basset and Jeff Baxter for presenting tabletop scenarios to consider for the March 5 training night. 

Our March 7 training day was loaded with information. Thanks to Sheila Goojha from the Alzheimer Society and Alex Scott from Autism Services who shared communication strategies and a general description of the conditions of the people they serve. Thanks to Dorthea Swiftwolfe, Missing Person Liaison, SPS Victim Services for sharing what happens when loved ones aren't found and the role that Victim Services plays. Thanks to Saskatoon Police Service Cst. Jeff Nachtegaele who presented information on the Police and Crisis Team (PACT) and RCMP Sgt. Pete Garvey who shared how search and rescue fits into the RCMP's guidelines. SSAR President, Jeff Baxter, ended the day with some very motivational comments to the group, reflecting on how far SSAR has advanced in the past few years. Finally, a special thanks again to the Saskatoon Police Service for the use of their classroom for the training day.

We have two new AdventureSmart presenters. Jaime Storch and Shawn Bursey attended the presenter training on March 14, put on by SARSAV and instructed by Linda Mushanski

The Team Leader Train-the-Trainer course was held on March 21-22. Thanks to Scott Wright for instructing and RCMP for hosting the training at Saskatoon Detachment. Congratulations to our newly certified or re-certified instructors, Kent Orosz, Rebecca Basset, Sean Taylor, Mark Wells and Shelley Ballard-McKinlay. SAR members from RCMP and Porcupine Plain, North Corman Park and Denare Beach Chapters also participated.


Near North Battleford

On Tuesday, March 24, 2015, SSAR was activated by RCMP and eight of our members were deployed to help search for a man reported missing on the Mosquito First Nation, approximately 30 km south of North Battleford. Sadly, the man was located deceased. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and all the people of this small community. (Banner photo above is from the staging area, getting ready to begin searching.)

Emergency Communications Project

New Sponsor

Thank you so much to the Saskatoon Police Association for their $1,000 contribution to our Emergency Communications Project! It's great to be able to train and work with Saskatoon Police Service members and we are so fortunate to have the support of both the membership and the organization as a whole. 

We are SO close to our goal for this project! Close enough that we have purchased the equipment, installation is very close to being completed and we will begin the testing phase of the project at our next training days. We are hopeful that our fundraising events in May will more than cover the remaining cost of the project. 


& Public Education Events

May is going to be a busy month! We're getting so close to having enough funds to complete our Emergency Communications Project and we want to get it done! And hopefully raise a bit of extra money for other important equipment and training. To this end, we have a month-long campaign and a couple other events to raise money and awareness. 

Gear Swap/Consignment and Garage Sale

In conjunction with the annual Montgomery Garage Sale on Saturday, May 2, from 8 am - 4 pm, we will be hosting a sale with the main focus being on SAR and outdoor-related gear but any household or other garage sale type items are welcome! Items can either be put in the sale with all proceeds going to SSAR or more valuable items can be put in the sale on consignment, with SSAR taking 20% of the sale price. Start your spring cleaning! You don't have to be a SSAR member to contribute. Contact Kent Orosz and get items to him by April 16. 

Barbecue and PSAR Display

On Sunday, May 3  we will be hosting a fundraising barbecue and AdventureSmart presentations and display at Cabela's. This event will be the main kick-off to the 31 Days of SSAR campaign and will promote our involvement in National Emergency Preparedness Week and Provincial Missing Persons Week. Join us for lunch from 11 am - 2 pm and take in the displays. There will be child-appropriate fun and games so bring the whole family! 

31 Days of SSAR

31 Days of SSAR is a crowd-funding campaign that will be held during the month of May and, each day, feature short videos, articles and other items of interest related to search, rescue and public safety. 
The campaign has 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, provide funds for further training opportunities for our members and to purchase additional equipment needs.
Additional details of the campaign will be available in the near future. 

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. 

April 16 - 7 pm - Preparation for weekend training (for all members) and first night of Team Leader Course. 
April 18 - 9am-5pm -- Search tasks and exercise will be geared around testing our new emergency communications system! (Note: We are no longer planning an overnight exercise as previously posted.) 

May 9-10 -  All members to attend Team Leader training days so that our new Leaders have a team to lead! See details below. 

June 4 - 7 pm Preparation for Saturday's search exercise.
June 6 - Full scale search exercise for the day.

Team Leader Course

For Team Leader candidates and those who need to be re-certified.

April 16 - 7 pm at Fire Training Centre.
May 7 - 7 pm at Fire Training Centre.
May 8 - 7 pm, location (in city) TBD.
May 9-10 at Blackstrap Provincial Park. 8:30 am Saturday, overnight to mid-morning Sunday. 


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 24 - 26 in Charlottetown, PEI.  As soon as the website is updated we'll let you know but, in the meantime, mark the dates on your calendars. This is always a great training event! 

Executive and Directors Meeting

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


Election Results

Search and Rescue Saskatchewan Association of Volunteers (SARSAV) held their AGM on March 14th. Congratulation to SSAR members who were elected or re-elected to the Board of Directors: Scott Wright (Past President), Kent Orosz and Sherry Buller (Directors).  Other Executive members of the board include Justin Capp (President), Bobbi Buchanan (Vice President), Tracey LaGasse (Secretary), Bob Smith (Treasurer), and directors including Pat Casement, Rick Elder, Ian McNeil, Larry Deacon, Rick Elder (Training Chair appointment).  Bill Baynes continues in his voluntary role as the Webmaster for the group. Congratulations!

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. We are getting closer to our goal!
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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