The might of volunteers – Halifax Search and Rescue

In The Spotlight

The might of volunteers – Halifax Search and Rescue

Chances are, at some point, you’ve seen the big orange trucks, the bright orange clothes, and the utilities of the Halifax  Search and Rescue.  You may have seen them in person at active scenes, training, or even at public relation events such as with the HRFE and in parades.

But did you know:  The Halifax  Search and Rescue team is made up entirely of very dedicated volunteers?

With about 160 members currently, the men and women who make up the team, give up their own time, and in many cases, put their own safety at risk, for the safety of others.

Training often, and on their own time, this team can be a vital aid to other first responders who rely on the immediate boost in manpower for time many difficult taskings.

Search and Rescue, ofcourse can be a bulk of their taskings.  Assisting fire departments, police agencies, Coast Guard and more, the team can be scrambled at any time, in any weather, to don their gear and set out in conditions many of us would prefer to avoid being out in.  Day, night, snow storms, heat waves, or anything else nature can throw at you, these teams pack their kits and face the conditions to help find and save a single life.

Search and rescues, besides the weather, can also be tasked in many different environments.  Thick, dense forests, walking trails, or even city streets and parks, are some of, but not all of the environments they may be facing on a call.  They also may take to the water in the case of a sinking ship or other aquatic scenario.  Recently training with police and Coast Guard for just that thing, it was explained that GSAR teams may be shuttled to shorelines on islands in the case of a marine disaster, with the intentions of combing the islands for any sign of passengers from the ill fated ship or crash of an aircraft or lost hiker on a island.

But these teams do more than that.

SAR assist fire crews on scenes of large forest fires, such as the Bissett area fire earlier this year.  Assisting fire crews with navigation, fire crew and gear transport, and logistics, their assistance helps everyone involved stay focused on their task at hand.

Sometimes called in by police, the search and rescuers can be tasked to helping police in finding evidence in serious cases.  With instructions from police on what they are being asked to do, these teams will comb through urban areas, brush, or other conditions with intent on helping police.

These teams are very well prepared for the taskings at hand and carry various survival tools in their large backpacks.  They also train on various types of gear, such as GPS and radio use.  Some even train on the support vehicles such as the ARGO offroad machine and ATVs.

Again, these skilled and dedicated members are all volunteers who put the safety of others in their targets at all times.  They have families, jobs, go to school and more.  They rely on donations to keep their gear stocked and in good shape and to run their command post and vehicles.

So in conclusion, a thank you to the big orange team.  And in speaking with members of other first responder agencies,  their service and dedication is always appreciated and welcomed.

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