Image: Minister of National Defence and Lead Minister for Search and Rescue Peter MacKay announced an $8.1 million federal investment in SAR prevention and response in Canada / Canadian Forces
Peter MacKay, minister of national defence and lead minister for search and rescue (SAR), announced on 15 April an $8.1 million federal investment in SAR prevention and response in Canada. He said: “Our government understands the importance of investing in new initiatives aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of SAR in Canada. This money will support projects that build SAR capacity and strengthens the response of SAR.”
The Canadian Forces explained that in 2012 to 2013, this new funding will allow for the purchase of life-saving equipment and tools; the development of training standards; collaborative interoperability exercises between the Canadian Forces, the Canadian Coast Guard, Parks Canada, and the over 15,000 specially trained air-ground-marine SAR volunteers; the development of outreach prevention and awareness programmes to targeted audiences like flight safety for private pilots; the building of SAR capacity in the marine environment on the coasts; and the development of virtual trainers for the air and marine SAR environments.
Géraldine Underdown, executive director of the National SAR Secretariat (NSS), commented: “Projects funded under the SAR New Initiatives Fund support the priorities of the National SAR Program. They contribute to building capacity for the National SAR Program in such areas as SAR prevention, response, technology, sustainability, interoperability and the North.”
Established in 1986, NSS is responsible for the management and co-ordination of the National SAR Program, and works with all levels of government, police and emergency services to manage and improve SAR activities throughout Canada. The NSS is an autonomous, arm’s length organisation within the Department of National Defence, accountable to the lead minister for search and rescue, who is also minister of national defence.