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Search and Rescue Team Operations

Alberta search and rescue teams operate in many rescue situations and environments. These include wilderness, rope, confined space, structural collapse (light to heavy urban search and rescue), swift water, avalanche, trench, and cave rescue.

Search and rescue (SAR) teams find, stabilize, and evacuate people who are in distress. Briefly, SAR handles incidents in the following way:

  • After getting a call from the police, municipality, applicable provincial ministry or Parks Canada, the on-call SAR manager alerts the team.
  • Team assembles at a predetermined place.
  • Each member signs in and is accounted for from the start to the termination of the incident.
  • Team departs for the incident scene (missing/lost person or a rescue).
  • At the scene, the following are established:
    • base of operations
    • staging area
    • communication
  • Search manager plans the response, taking into acount available resources, expertise, and training, while continously gathering information about the incident.
  • Teams are deployed, communicating with base by radio/cellphones.
  • On locating the missing person, the team administers necessary medical aid. Additional technical resources may need to be deployed.
  • More resources may be mobilized if the search needs to be expanded and/or teams need relief.
  • Search ends when the tasking agency stands the teams down. The plans to initiate the stand-down procedures are in place from the initial call.


Monthly Search and Rescue Statistics

  • Date modified: 2017-08-10