North East Mutual Aid District Ground Search And Rescue
The NEMAD is made up of 13 local fire departments from all over eastern Manitoba. The purpose of this district is to provide Mutual Aid assistance between each fire department in time of need. When it comes to Ground Search and Rescue just about all fire departments in the district have a GSAR team, these individual teams provide mutual aid assistance within the District and all over the province of Manitoba when a Ground Search happens.
What happens when a Search is required?
When a person becomes lost in the bush, the first agency to be called is the RCMP. The RCMP then usually calls out its own”Hasty” Ground Search team from Winnipeg. If the ground search is determined to be too big for the RCMP or they need more personnel, the Office of the Fire Commissioner is called. The OFC then calls the NEMAD GSAR Co-ordinator who in this district is Dave Lussier from the Lac-du-bonnet Fire Department. He then dispatches out a number of Search teams from all over the district to full fill the OFC requirements for the ground search. Ultimately the RCMP is in charge of the ground search, but the OFC provides just about all of the logistics for the GSAR including portable tents, heating, supplies, radio’s, food, water etc.
Training & Certification
To become a GSAR member, you must be a member of a rural fire department and as well take the Office of the Fire Commissioner’s Ground Search and Rescue Course. The course length is 3 days which teaches all members everything you need to know about GSAR. This includes map reading, compass, GPS (global positioning system), search techniques, survival in the elements and equipment.
The Lac-du-bonnet fire department also provides 2 yearly practices (spring & fall) for the NEMAD GSAR teams. This provides a chance to refresh skills and practice searching in the elements.