OFFICE OF THE FIRE COMMISSIONER LEADS SEARCH AND RESCUE TRAINING
– – – Skills to be Put to the Test in Riding Mountain National Park Beginning this Evening
The Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC) advises that search and rescue (SAR) volunteers from across the province will gather today and tomorrow in Riding Mountain National Park for an annual exercise designed to keep their search skills sharp and allow them to work with a variety of partners that could be deployed in an emergency.
Co-ordinated by the OFC in partnership with Search and Rescue Manitoba (SARMAN), the exercise will include a night-time drill, navigation exercise, search technique training, as well as watercraft and helicopter operations. The OFC has a long history of search and rescue training and, in addition to working with SARMAN, trains and co-ordinates Manitoba’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team.
This combined exercise will give volunteers and representatives of multiple agencies a chance to work together and hone the skills that could save a life in a real emergency. Local police agencies have responsibility for search and rescue, but they are able to call on SARMAN volunteers if they need to expand their search or want to quickly put a large trained team on the ground. There are about 450 SARMAN volunteers in Manitoba.
SARMAN teams have been called out many times to look for missing hikers, lost children or to assist with difficult rescues such as the group of anglers stranded on an ice flow in the Lake of the Woods earlier this spring.
People near Riding Mountain National Park may see the training activities and a number of search and rescue volunteers in the park. The OFC advises they can be assured it is just a training exercise during which the volunteers will practise skills such as:
helicopter and watercraft use,
low-angle rope rescue,
survival skills, and
More information about the SARMAN volunteer association or how to get involved in search and rescue in Manitoba is available at www.searchandrescuevolunteer.ca.