Information via Halifax SAR. We are sorry for the loss
This week has been another tough one for members of Halifax Search and Rescue.
We’ve lost a close friend, a great human, and an exceptional #GSAR volunteer, Kevin Burnett.
Kevin joined the team after moving into a house close to one of our long-time members. The story is that our member and his wife ventured down to meet their new neighbour. In true Maritimer fashion, they brought a loaf of banana bread with them to break the ice. They hit it off immediately and soon became close friends.
After a few months, Kevin asked how he could join HSAR. The rest of the story will be forever woven into our team history.
Kevin moved through the core training modules. From Map and Compass to Team Leader. He would become one of the first members of the Remote Rescue team, a highly experienced and trained group of the team responsible for extracting individuals from remote areas in the municipality.
He would then go back to develop and shape the new member intake process. This would be a process that he dreamt up and implemented that would ensure that potential #GSAR volunteers knew what would be expected of them and were comfortable in the woods. He was passionate about ensuring we brought on the right people, and he had a large hand in shaping the team into the very capable group we have today.
As a team member, a team leader, and as a person he earned tremendous respect from those around him. When he spoke, everyone listened. He stood out for being thoughtful, professional, and intelligent. Members that were tasked with him on searches had unreserved confidence in his abilities.
If you were lost, missing, or injured in the HRM, he’s exactly the person you’d hope would be coming for you.
In his professional life, Kevin had a degree in Mathematics/CS from Waterloo. For over 26 years he worked in the Defence and Security industry designing and developing Command and Control systems for mission critical systems. His work focused on the RCMP and Nav Canada, where he gained considerable aviation related domain knowledge. His focus had been integrating new technologies to enhance public safety. From conception and operational requirements, through design and development, hazard identification and risk assessment, procedures, certification, and training, he worked on the complete life cycle of a project.
Last year Kevin was diagnosed with Leukemia.
After the diagnosis, he stayed heavily involved with the team. During rounds of chemo, he was busy researching and writing policy for the Remote Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) group, at times from his hospital bed. With his previous work experience he was probably one of the most knowledgeable RPAS pilots in Canada.
Rest easy Kevin, we’ll take the search from here. From potential members joining the team to advanced Search and Rescue techniques utilizing the RPAS unit, your legacy will live on with HSAR.
Our thoughts are with all those that knew and loved Kevin, and especially his family at this truly difficult time.
For more information on Kevin’s life, please visit https://bit.ly/3swuwWw.