Ground Search and Rescue

All CVGSAR members are trained and certified in ground search operations. The Ground Search Team consists of about 50 members broken down into Search Managers, Ground Search Team Leaders (GSTLs) and ground searchers.

Before any new members can participate in a search or rescue, they must be trained and certified. New members are put through a ground search and rescue course that covers basic search techniques, different types of searches, basic rope rescue, navigation by compass, map reading, GPS, overnight survival, helicopter safety, etc. This course is taught by CVGSAR members and consists of approximately 80 hours.

Searches are conducted at any time of the year, at any time of the day, in any type of terrain. They require dedicated SAR members who are willing to leave the comfort of their home and family to look for a complete stranger, regardless of the weather. Many searches are completed in a few hours; occasionally, they take several days. As volunteers, SAR members in BC are not paid for the time they contribute.

All members participate in ground SAR activities. Locating, Accessing, Stabilizing and Transporting are the key goals of ground SAR. We locate through specialized ground search techniques, access with ropes and other specialized equipment, stabilize with first aid techniques and transport by a variety of methods and vehicles.