|The Toronto Heavy Urban SAR team, along with Emergency Services and the Ontario Provincial Emergency Response Team, work together in a simulated rescue of a collapsed building. Team members worked together to rescue two adults and one child.|
SARSCENE Games 2003: The Monsoon Challenge
Carole Smith, Games Coordination Team
High winds and driving rain provided a realistic setting for the 7th annual SARSCENE Games and Canine Competition, held Oct. 15th at the Lemoine Point Conservation Area in Kingston, Ontario. The cold and stormy weather reminded competitors and observers alike that few SAR missions happen in ideal conditions.
Eight 4-person teams competed in the traditional games, tackling a long course that challenged physical conditioning and tested skills in search operations, low-angle rescue, emergency scene management, clue and evidence search, survival, and water rescue. The six canine teams competed in detection, obedience, article search, agility, fitness, and canine First Aid.
|The Toronto Heavy Urban SAR team, Centre of the Universe, poses with the Slaughter Cup. Also pictured are Al Thomas, team coordinator (right), and Toronto Fire Chief, William Stewart.|
With a strong and spirited performance by all, Toronto's Heavy Urban Search and Rescue team took the gold medal, Parks Canada Bruce Peninsula won the silver and Fire Rescue 424 captured the bronze. The canine competition produced a first-place tie, shared by Cliff Neumann and his dog, Nanook, and Caroline Maisonneuve and her dog, Morgan. François Lefebvre and his dog, Rick, took silver, while Mario Lavigne and his dog, Jazz, won the bronze. The longest-distance-travelled distinction goes to the volunteer air rescue team from Iceland.
The O.P.P. and the Ottawa Valley Search and Rescue Dog Association organized the event in conjunction with the NSS.
Fire Rescue 424 wins bronze medal
by Ivan Hansen
The Games brought together a diverse group of SAR providers representing air, ground, and marine aspects to compete and to learn from each other, even on a day of intense winds and rain.
Fire Rescue 424 won the bronze medal after competing in six events that tested skills in search operations, low-angle rescue, emergency scene management, clue and evidence search, survival, and water rescue. Here is their story.
|Firefighters Ivan Hansen and Steve Marcellus teamed up with SAR Techs Marc Lessard and Dino Simone to win the bronze medal at the 7th annual SARSCENE Games.|
Our first event was clue and evidence search. The scenario was that a 10-year-old boy was missing, and our task was to find a number of items in a given area, which related to the case.
We then built a fire and shelter for the survival skills event; next we tossed a throw bag to a target to simulate a water rescue; our next event was search planning for a lost hunter; we then performed a low-angle rescue by carrying a mannequin up the hill using rope and a litter; our final challenge was emergency scene management with a mock plane crash.
Advance details on the events were intentionally vague, which made it interesting because we did not know which challenges we would face. All of the scenarios were realistic, and events like these make for excellent training, because we must go through similar size-ups and decision-making processes that we would for real incidents.
Ivan Hansen is Acting Captain of the Oakville Fire Department and member
of the Town of Oakville Water-Air Rescue Force.
Looking back at SARSCENE
|The O.P.P. Tactical unit, in conjunction with Kingston Police Services, simulated a high-angle search and rescue scenario for an injured victim atop the Ambassador Hotel, Kingston.|
There were more than 70 different presentations for delegates to choose from at this year's SARSCENE Workshop, held in Kingston, Ontario.
SAR in the North
Search and rescue in the North was a hot topic at this year's conference, as seen through presentations by WO Mike Rarog, who discussed 440 Squadron's response to a search and body recovery mission for a missing Inuit hunter in Kugluktuk, Nunavut; and Bert Rose's presentation "SAR Pitseolak: The CASARA Role," examined search and rescue from a Northern perspective and how the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) participated in the search for a missing Inuit artist and pilot.
|Air Inuit sponsored the Nunavik Arctic Survival Training Centre's very popular presentation on Arctic Survival given by Mario Aubin, Paulusi Novalinga and Brian Min. Also pictured is an officer from the Kativik Police Force and Sandy Gordon, Kativik Government.|
While these two presentations examined two cases from a searcher's perspective, the session on Arctic Survival by Mario Aubin, Brian Min and Paulusi Novalinga considered the role of Arctic survival training for search and rescue teams and other safety professionals.
A fourth presentation, by David Northmore, considered the importance
of relationships and cooperation when conducting SAR with Aboriginal and
Inuit People of Canada. This presentation looked at aspects such as funding
concerns, training and standards, language barriers, cultural influences
and equipment, among others.
|There were 50 exhibitors at this year's tradeshow, including the RCMP booth shown here.|
Another stream of presentations examined the role of the volunteer as well as the importance of relationships between SAR organizations. Sgt. Don Bindon's presentation looked at the relationship between law enforcement and volunteer groups and how to make an effective and lasting one. Sgt. Bindon's session looked at a program in British Columbia, as well as best practices in other jurisdictions.
To give a different perspective, Dr. Anthony Jones discussed the SAR Structure in the United Kingdom, and the role of volunteer organizations. Dr. Jones examined the air, sea and ground aspects of SAR in the United Kingdom, as well as the many different organizations that come together to save lives.
|Sgt. Don Webster of the O.P.P. is interviewed by Kingston's CKWS television about the day's demonstrations.|
There were many presentations that focused on air SAR and the role of technology. For example, Dr. George Isaac's presentation on aircraft icing examined standards and safety requirements for aircraft flying in icing conditions. Paul Newcomb's session on satellite-based flight following and two-way messaging looked at a data messaging system for fixed and rotor-wing aircraft.
With the boating season drawing to a close, many topics focused on water safety programs, including the presentation about the power of partnerships in boating safety, by Peter Garapick and John Gullick; the session about a Canadian Coast Guard PFD study, by Brian Avery; a presentation by Caroline Gagnon of the Canadian Red Cross, on drowning and other water-related injuries; a session on simulation in SAR presented by Tony Patterson; two presentations on the Royal National Lifeboat Institution by Ian Ventham, and many more.
|Oceanid Ltd. presented its first annual award for rescue involving the use of its Rapid Deployment Craft. The award went to the Ottawa Fire Department for a rescue in June 2002 of a 15 year-old boy from the sewer system.|
A special session at this year's workshop was the two-hour Interoperability Summit that brought together representatives from the Canadian Coast Guard, the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, the United States Coast Guard, the Nova Scotia Emergency Measures Organization and other organizations, to develop an action plan so all search and rescue agencies are able to interact effectively and efficiently when responding to SAR incidents. The summit examined methods to improve interoperability, including table-top and multi-jurisdictional exercises. There was a lot of interest in having a similar summit at SARSCENE 2004, both to follow up on discussions initiated, and to continue the positive momentum that has been generated.
Claude Auger's session on the Canadian table-top exercise program discussed the Parks Canada role and importance of the program. It was developed in response to an identified need to coordinate all the resources available for emergencies in the regions surrounding Canada's National Parks.
|Dignitaries highlight national strategies|
|The opening ceremonies and plenary were held at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, and included breakfast sponsored by EMS Technologies. Those who spoke at the opening ceremony included those below.|
|Chief Superintendent Chris Lewis of the Ontario Provincial Police||SAR Region Commander, Canadian Forces, Major-General M.J. Dumais||Julian Goodyear, Regional Director, Canadian Coast Guard, Central and Arctic Region||A/Commissioner Darrell LaFosse of the RCMP||Jean Murray, Executive Director of the National Search and Rescue Secretariat|
|This year's plenary focused on seamless search and rescue and the national SAR program and Jean Murray, spoke of seven main issues in her presentation. National program strategies include: partnerships, multi-jurisdictional exercises, volunteers, technology and innovation, interoperability and data and information. Those below were just three of the dignitaries who spoke at the workshop's plenary session.|
|Chris Long, State of Washington, Emergency Management Division||Major-General Richard Bastien, Department of National Defence||John Adams, Canadian Coast Guard Commissioner|
Ted Rankine, host of the Powerboat Television series Boats and Places, filmed an episode of his show in Kingston about search and rescue and SARSCENE 2003. For more information, visit his website at http://resolutionhost.com/BoatsAndPlaces/OurTvShows/PowerboatTV/PBTV.htm.
Special thanks to François Vézina, Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, for most of the SARSCENE 2003 photos.