Tweet! New searchers, SAR Games, Help Wanted.
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Saskatoon Search & Rescue

May 2013 Newsletter

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What's Happening This Month


Do you hear it? Tweet! Tweet!  You can now follow @SaskatoonSAR on Twitter! 

Our May training exercise and the September SARSAV conference and games are going to be so much fun! There's more info in the Training and Events section.

Thank you to the Kinsmen Club of Saskatoon!

Want to get more involved in SSAR? Member help is needed with various projects.

Congrats to our seven new basic searchers.

Never get lost with Rod Miskolczi

Gear, Gadgets, Gizmos - gear swap and STARS video.

More SARSAV news from the Annual General Meeting.

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!


Training and Events

Monthly Training Meetings

  • Thursday, May 2, 2013 - A Saskatoon Police Service officer will do a presentation on interviewing and note taking in preparation for the May exercise. 
  • Thursday, June 6 - Training meeting (topic to be determined)
  • Saturday, June 8 - Field day (Tentative)

Thursday evening training meetings are held at 116 Avenue W South starting at 1900 h unless otherwise specified. 

Search Manager Training

Search Manager training will be going ahead in June or July. The course will be five days (3-day Search Management for the Initial Response Incident Commander [SMIRIC] course and 2-day Search Management for Multiple Operational Periods course). This training is only open to SAR members with Team Leader training and Incident Command Systems (ICS) 200. If you are interested in taking this course, please contact the Training Director.

SARSAV Conference & Games

The SARSAV (Search and Rescue Saskatchewan Association of Volunteers) Conference and Games have been scheduled for Sept. 27-29, 2013, near Blackstrap Lake. The course itinerary is still being developed so watch for more information in the coming months. This is the first provincial SAR conference in Saskatchewan since 2008 and is sure to be informative and fun, and it presents a great opportunity to get to know your fellow SAR volunteers from around the province!

May Executive & Director Meeting 

The next SSAR Executive and Director meeting is scheduled for May 30, starting at 1900 h. These are the 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 Executive and Director meetings, please email us. 

Thank You

To the Kinsmen Club of Saskatoon

SSAR TrailerIn 2012 the Kinsmen Club of Saskatoon donated $30,000 to Saskatoon Search and Rescue for the purchase of a command trailer. Their generosity has greatly increased our ability to be a professional and effective partner in ensuring the safety of our community. 

This is just one of many great projects and organizations the Kinsmen Club is able to support from proceeds of the Kinsmen Home Lottery. Purchase your ticket today and help your community!

Help Wanted

With Several SSAR Projects

Got some ideas for fundraising? Interested in helping to organize a really fun event? The Fundraising Director wants you! Please contact Chris

Have experience setting up a Wordpress website? Have ideas about what you would like to see in a new SSAR website and willing to help proof read? Contact Shelley to be part of the website project team. 

Excited to promote SSAR and encourage people to get involved? We are accepting applications! Contact Jarod to help recruit new members or to apply if you're not already a SSAR member. 

There are many ways to take a more active role in SSAR and we appreciate every one of them!

Introducing . . . 

7 New Basic Searchers!

Congratulations to our latest graduates of the Basic Searcher Course -- Mark Wells, Sean LeMoine, Nelson Martell, Justin van den Driesen, Stuart Stevenson, Chris Scheier and Shelley Ballard-McKinlay. This is one of the largest groups in recent history with seven new people certified. 

We had a very good day outdoors (despite there still being several feet of snow on the ground in April!) and the instructors did a great job of keeping things moving which helped people stay warm.

Many thanks to the Instructors and Team Leaders - Kent Orosz (classroom session), Rod Miskolczi, Rebecca Basset, Jeff Baxter, Dale Johnstone - and to already-trained members Jarod Harvey, Lance Athmer and Henry Eng for coming out and sharing their expertise.
Back row L-R - Mark Wells, Sean Lemoine, Nelson Martell, Lance Athmer, Justin van den Driesen, Stuart Stevenson; Front row L-R - Chris Scheier, Rebecca Basset, Jarod Harvey, Shelley Ballard-McKinlay, Henry Eng; Missing from photo - Jeff Baxter, Dale Johnstone; Photographer - Rod Miskolczi

Member Profile

Rod Miskolczi

“You will never get lost with Rod on your team . . .
and you will never lose him either!”*

Rod Miskolczi grew up with a love of the outdoors. Fishing, hunting and camping trips have been a regular part of his Saskatchewan life. With a good skill set under his belt, it was an easy decision to join Saskatoon Search and Rescue when the organization formed in December 2007.

Rod has always been instrumental in SSAR training, either as Training Director or Member at Large on the Training Committee. He is a Team Leader and a certified instructor for the Basic Searcher, Team Leader, and Map, Compass & GPS courses.
photo of Rod
One of the things Rod likes best about SSAR is the thrill he gets in seeing people succeed and utilize the skills he’s taught them. Especially on the winter overnight survival weekends, people who are experiencing winter camping for the first time may be a bit nervous and they ask lots of questions. By the next morning, they’re often laughing and saying they wish it had been colder out.

Rod is one of SSAR’s few “mantrackers” having taken the Level 2 course, which he describes as “intense.” It requires being methodical and paying great attention to detail.

If you need any construction advice, Rod is the guy to talk to. He’s spent his entire working life in various aspects of the construction industry and for the past eight years has worked for Valentino Homes, coming in after the main trades to ensure everything has been done to the level of quality expected and making modifications if required.

His part time job at Cabela’s allows him to share his recreational interests with both fellow staff members and customers. He likes learning about new gear and being allowed to “play with all the toys.” Rod readily admits that his Cabela’s pay cheques usually don’t make it out of the store – paying instead for his SAR hobby.

Rod was a member of the Saskatoon Kennel & Obedience Club for 10 years, and was an instructor in obedience and confirmation for much of that time. He was also a trainer with the Saskatchewan Agility Club for four years. As with SSAR, he finds great rewards in seeing the training he’s provided pay off for both the dogs and their owners.

With an adult daughter, Stacy, and son, Andrew, Rod and his wife, Lorna, are now empty nesters.

*Rebecca Basset, a fellow SSAR member, commenting on Rod’s navigation skills and his trademark bright orange jacket and hat.

Gear, Gadgets, Gizmos

And Other Cool Stuff

When you're new to the Search and Rescue world, it can be an expensive proposition to acquire the gear required if you're not already a keen outdoors person. And if you've been around for a while you've probably got more than you really need. Mountain Equipment Co-op can help. Check out their on-line gear swap where you can buy, sell and swap your used outdoor gear, free of charge. Reduce, reuse, recycle, rethink!

Have you ever wondered how to set up a landing zone for a STARS helicopter? Wonder no more! Learn this and more in this informative video

Gear, Gadgets, Gizmos is a regular newsletter section featuring a couple of items that SSAR members find useful. Got something you think others would like to hear about? Please email the Communications Director.


From the Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of SARSAV (Search and Rescue Saskatchewan Association of Volunteers) was held in Saskatoon on April 13.

Elections were held for all positions. The new SARSAV board is:
  • President: Scott Wright (Saskatoon SAR, North Corman Park SAR)
  • Vice President: Bobbi Buchanan (Porcupine Plain SAR)
  • Treasurer: Bob Smith (Prince Albert North SAR)
  • Secretary: Kate Davies (Saskatoon SAR)
  • Directors: Pat Casement (Wadena SAR), Justin Capp (National Flight Training Centre), Kent Orosz (Saskatoon SAR), Rick Elder (North Corman Park SAR), Derek Schmidt (Wood River SAR)
SARSAV will be on ReadyAlert. Each SARSAV member chapter in the province will be added to the ReadyAlert system and RCMP "F" Division will have access to the account. This will enable the RCMP to log in and put different chapters on standby or activate them with one click of a button.

The Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada (SARVAC) is continuing to work on developing standards for CSA certification of all SAR training in Canada. So far they have pulled 84 documents into the review process, which cover all SAR providers (Department of National Defence, volunteer Ground SAR, Parks Canada, etc.) in Canada. The new standards will focus on outcomes and capabilities. There is still a long road ahead before CSA approval is granted to the new standards, but it's an exciting step forward for SAR in Canada!

Search and Rescue Regina (SARR) has registered its own radio frequencies with Industry Canada and has been building an impressive communications program. The end goal is to make this a province-wide program. A Memorandum of Understanding has been developed by SARR for other chapters to use these frequencies.

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