Starting Saturday morning and well into the evening, volunteers with the unit, along with Island EMS, the Wellington fire department and RCMP, will be at Camp Tamawaby taking part in a mock search and rescue.
“We are a resource used by the RCMP to search for and rescue people that are missing,” Ken Hall, president of P.E.I. Ground Search and Rescue, said of the organization’s role. “If someone wandered off in the woods and didn’t come back, we look for them.”
Almost 100 volunteers from across P.E.I. comprise P.E.I. Ground Search and Rescue.
“We are looking for people over 18 years old. Good physical condition is a good asset and people who enjoy the outdoors and want to help people,” said Hall. “We do the training and it’s all volunteer and non-profit.”
Saturday’s mock exercise is one of three held annually. Usually, exercises only involve the P.E.I. Ground Search and Rescue unit. This time, in addition to Island EMS, RCMP and firefighters, a search and rescue unit from Nova Scotia will be involved.
“We are going to have individuals who are missing in the woods and our job will be to go and find them,” said Hall. “A couple of people will know where they are, but most of the team will not. We want to sharpen our skills — the management skills, the search skills — but also test the equipment, too — our radio equipment, tracking devices, computer equipment, trailers and the command post.”
P.E.I. Ground Search and Rescue received funding from the National Search and Rescue Secretariat through its New Initiatives Fund for the exercise.
The exercise will go rain or shine and, he added, likely go until midnight.
Hall said volunteers are always needed for the P.E.I. Ground Search and Rescue unit.
Anyone interested in joining or learning more about the unit can visit www.peisara.ca.