SAR Agencies in British Columbia
National Search and Rescue Secretariat (NSS):
NSS is an autonomous arm’s length organization within the Department of National Defence, accountable to the Lead Minister for Search and Rescue who is also the Minister of National Defence.
Alberta-BC Cave Rescue (ABCCRS):
ABCCRS, formed in 1984, is the rescue and training service of the British Columbia Speleological Federation, the registered society representing organized caving in British Columbia. Operates under a 1992 Memorandum of Understanding with the Provincial Emergency Program (now EMBC), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the BC Ambulance Service. Recognized by the Province of BC as the lead organization in cave rescue, providing specialized personnel and equipment for cave rescue emergencies on callout by the RCMP, BCAS or the EMBC Emergency Coordination Centre.
BC Search Dog Association (BCSDA):
BCSDA is an organization of very dedicated individuals who train dogs for search and rescue in BC. The profiles that we train for are wilderness area search and tracking. Dog teams are validated annually at either our spring or fall training sessions by members of the RCMP Police Dog Service. Validated Search Dog Teams are all members of their local Ground Search and Rescue teams and respond to requests through the Provincial Emergency Program, as requested by the RCMP.
BC Tracking Association (BCTA):
BCTA is a registered, non-profit society, dedicated to the establishment and the maintenance of proven and consistent tracker training standards in the province of British Columbia. Our self-imposed mandate is to not only oversee the high standards of training and to facilitate recognized tracker training opportunities throughout the province, but also to encourage the utilization of trained trackers in Search and Rescue operations. The BCTA’s scope of operations includes informing user groups as to the efficacy of tracking and how trained trackers can augment search operations. This informational process includes presentations, literature, and a professionally developed video.
Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association (CARDA):
CARDA is the civilian organization entrusted with the responsibility of using dog teams for avalanche search and rescue.
Founded in 1978, CARDA is a non-profit charitable organization. Each team, dog and handler, is highly trained, skilled and dedicated to achieve our mission of Saving Lives.
Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA):
CASARA is a Canada-wide volunteer aviation association dedicated to providing air search support services in downed aircraft, recently more humanitarian efforts, and promotes Canada’s Search and Rescue Program across Canada. Our volunteers are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to assist in providing air search assistance to the Royal Canadian Air Force.
PEP Air includes searching from the air and conducting electronic searches on the ground. Although we encourage everyone to become proficient members of our air crews, we know that not all people will be able or desire to fly or may not be physically able to fly. We recognize that there are many other equally important ground related duties and assignments that members might undertake.
In addition to training search professionals, PEP AIR assists the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), the Canadian Military and its divisions, PEP Ground Crews and local municipal forces in searching for aircraft, boaters, hikers and others.
Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR):
RCMSAR is a not-for-profit volunteer-based organization that operates more than 30 marine rescue stations along the coast of British Columbia from Vancouver’s busy harbour to the remote waters of the North Coast. RCMSAR is a key part of the marine search and rescue (SAR) system, working in one of the most challenging search and rescue regions in the world. Our 900 volunteers are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, ready to immediately respond to marine emergencies at a moment’s notice.
Provincial SAR Related Agencies
Search and Rescue Association of Alberta
Government of British Columbia: Emergency Management BC
Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary
SAR Manitoba Office of the Fire Commissioner
New Brunswick Ground Search and Rescue Association
Newfoundland and Labrador Search and Rescue Association Inc.
Nova Scotia Ground Search and Rescue Association
Ontario Search and Rescue Volunteers Association
Prince Edward Island
L’Association Québécoise des Bénévoles en Recherche et Sauvetage (français seulement)
Search and Rescue Saskatchewan Association of Volunteers (SARSAV)
AdventureSmart is a new national outdoor safety and education program to promote and encourage safe outdoor activities and lifestyles.
The Canadian Avalanche Association
The Canadian Avalanche Association represents avalanche professionals working in Canada. The Canadian Avalanche Centre contributes to the goal of reducing avalanche incidents world wide. Their Level 1 and Level 2 avalanche courses are respected globally.
BC River Forecast Centre
Staff of the River Forecast Centre (RFC) collect and interpret snow, meteorological and streamflow data to provide warnings and forecasts of stream and lake runoff conditions around the province.
P.O. Box 2176
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