March 7, 2019
Paradise, Newfoundland and Labrador
Public Safety Canada
Canadians love to play, work and explore in the great outdoors across our country and the search and rescue community works tirelessly to keep us all safe. The Government of Canada is determined to support these brave women and men with the tools and technology they need to best serve Canadians and ensure a seamless approach to search and rescue in Canada.
Today, Ken McDonald, Member of Parliament for Avalon, on behalf of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, announced over $920,000 in federal funding over three years, starting in 2018, to the Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada (SARVAC) under the Search and Rescue New Initiatives Fund (SAR NIF).
This funding will help develop and implement a national accreditation and certification program for Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) volunteers, strengthening their capacity to safely and professionally respond to emergencies across the country.
The development of a national training and accreditation program will ensure the consistent deployment of best practices in responding to search and rescue situations across Canada. The program will also allow multiple jurisdictions to share resources, enhancing interoperability during multi-agency responses and ultimately allowing for more effective, efficient, seamless, and safer responses to GSAR incidents.
“Search and Rescue volunteers across the country and here in Avalon work so hard to keep Canadians safe. Nearly a million dollars in funding will help volunteers better respond to emergencies both big and small in a consistent, standardized manner. Canadians can be reassured that local volunteers will have more resources to help keep them safe, even when the worst case scenario occurs.”
– Ken McDonald, Member of Parliament for Avalon, on behalf of The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
“On behalf of the GSAR community, I would like to thank the Government of Canada for the funding contribution, which allows SARVAC and its stakeholders to investigate, analyze, develop and implement a national accreditation and certification program which fully supports the SARVAC/CSA Core Competency Standards and Training Curriculum Standards for Searchers, Team Leaders and SAR Managers. The success of this project is a move towards a national integrated all-hazards emergency response by certified volunteer GSAR responders.”
– Cindy Sheppard, Executive Director, Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada
In Canada, search and rescue is a responsibility shared by governments, the military, volunteers, and industry groups.
There are approximately 15,000 search and rescue volunteers across Canada, representing ground, air and maritime domains.
Canada’s search and rescue area of responsibility is 18 million square kilometres of land and water, and includes the longest coastline in the world.