New Member Information


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The following is a list of five pages of info regarding the basics of we at PCSAR operate. Hard copy is available and found in the membership binder which is at the regular meetings.

Page 1.)


Please read this information package. In it you will find:

  • Welcome and basic information - Fitness and Well Being Policy -

Public Relations Policy - Personnel Record - Resource Checklist - Expense InvoiceFill out the Personnel Record and the Resource Checklist and return them to Bob Costa, Membership Co-ordinator. Or, file them in the membership binder in the alphabetical section according to your last name.

The binder is usually available at all meetings for you to enter any changes to your personal information as well as your recent participation. Participation involves any SAR event, whether a meeting, course, mock search, actual search, barbeque, etc. Fill it in with the date of the activity on your Personnel Record sheet. Keeping this current is YOUR responsibility. That info is then entered into the main database which generates all kinds of material for us.

The Expense Invoice is what you will return to the treasurer for financial re-imbursement after an actual search. These forms are available from the Command Post overhead team when you leave a search or attend the search debriefing. Remember to ask for one.

Page 2.)

Welcome to Pincher Creek SAR.

Meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month. The executive meets at 6:00 pm and the general meeting and training session is held at 7:00 pm. You are welcome to attend both.

Attendance sheets (Personnel Record) are kept by Bob Costa. Please complete the one in this package. This is kept up to date BY YOU so that we know what your current training is and the experience that you have. This information is used to put your name on the call out sheet in the proper category of "emergency", "resource", etc. For every meeting, search call-out, or other SAR activity that you attend, enter it and the date of that participation on your page so that we can keep the records of your involvement current. It is your responsibility to do this. These records of involvement (without your name attached) also become part of the ongoing statistics of "man hours" volunteered in SAR. The more of these represented, the more we are valued and the easier it is to secure funding from the province.

The ready pack is the most essential part of all our equipment. Following is a list of the basics that should be included in your pack. Of course, variations are made according to the individuals training and needs;

  • Compass (maps provided) - First aid kit (personal) - Matches

and butane lighter - Candle - Headlamp and spare battery - Flashlight and spare battery -(*Two sources of light is a must, three is preferred!) - Pen, pencil, and note pad - Repair kit - duct tape, wire, fishing line, etc. - Knife - Whistle - Binoculars - Water bottle - full - Emergency bivouac (shelter) - Emergency food - power bars candies etc. - Weather gear - clothing (rain coat, hat, winter cloths, etc.) - Disposable camera (optional) - Zip lock baggiesThis is just a basic list. You can add and subtract as you see necessary, just keep in mind that you may need to carry this a long way so watch the weight! *Be prepared to stay out for 24 hours and remember that the weather can change!

Call outs are what we prepare for. Generally, the way that it happens is: A "tasking agency" ( the RCMP, fire department, etc.) will contact us and the callout sheets are used to contact members according to the type of search required (example; snowmobiles, horses, foot search, etc.); volunteers are also needed in a number of logistical support functions. These calls can come at any time and usually give you about 1 hour notice, so try to have your ready pack and "stuff" prepared at all times. This mainly means keeping track of what you are carrying and change it according to the season we are in (example: snow mitts versus sun screen). One more thing to keep in mind when you are called out is that CONFIDENTIALITY IS A MUST right from the initial callout. When working with the RCMP you are on their team and you will become privy to information that you must not share as it may hinder their investigation. When called, be prepared to know very little. You will be told where we are all meeting, where you are headed (general), and possibly a bit about the situation (example: child missing). At the meeting place, we typically have a briefing. Here you will find out where we are going and what we will be required to do.

Training is scheduled throughout the year with the regular monthly meeting being primarily a training session of some nature. Russell Bruder is our training co-ordinator and usually gives us about 2 months notice of any special course training. The training announcements will be passed on to you by your monthly fan-out contact person and are also now available on our website Once at the website find your way to, and click on, “wiki” then, “Calendar”. Usually a contact number will accompany that info so you can register for the course. But the best source of information will come through meeting attendance.

Participation is what makes this group work. We realize that not everyone can attend everything but we feel it is important to make an effort to keep up to date with what is happening in the group. If you have any questions, feel free to call our board members, listed on the website above.

Once again, we would like to welcome you to Pincher Creek SAR. By belonging to this group, you will be providing a service to the community that is extremely valuable. In the event of a search, most people do not realize how important the volunteers are.

Page 3.)

How To Contribute

Pincher Creek SAR is very appreciative of the ways you support the organization. We try to make it easy for you to contribute to the degree that you feel comfortable. This document is a summary of the ways you can be involved in Pincher SAR. The details are in the policies adopted by the organization. You can get a copy of those policies by asking any board member. To maintain your basic membership (associate membership), you must be involved in one activity of any nature, in support of Pincher SAR at least once a year. That could be a meeting, a search, a training exercise, a course, a task or anything else like that. General meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month at 19:00 (7:00 pm) for a few minutes before the training. To be able to vote at general meetings, you need to have attended two general meetings in the last 12 months. Voting membership is approved, usually automatically, by the board. Elections for the board are held in October. Any voting member can run and is highly encouraged. To be called for a search, you need to maintain your SAR Fundamentals certification. The certification course is held over 2 weekends once a year. You can also attend a course outside of Pincher Creek. To maintain your certification, you need to participate in two searches or mock searches every year. In order to be called about training activities or be called for a search you must keep your contact information up to date with the Membership Coordinator. Your contact, as well as other types of information, is in the Membership binder which is available at meetings. Always keep that info up to date. If you don't have an answering system, you may miss some messages. Regular monthly information is commonly circulated via email. Be sure to include that address if you have one. There are many things we do to keep the organization able to do its work in the field. If you feel interested in any of these areas, your help will be appreciated. Let any board member know, and they can help you get involved.

  • Emergency phoning Non-emergency phoning, informing our

members Board meetings Working at the command post Secretarial work Treasurer's work Auditing books Fund Raising Organizing or helping with training Teaching our members in some subject area Teaching prevention in schools Organizing social activities Coordinating care and purchase of equipment * Preparing plans for various emergency scenariosPage 4.)


In a search who is most important? 1 - You 2 - Your Team 3 - Potential Survivor

Things you must consider before becoming involved in a search: 1 - Today, am I physically capable of going into the field and searching? You do not want to jeopardize your own safety or your teams' safety. If there is any doubt, do not go into the field. 2 - Today, am I mentally capable to be a searcher? If your mind is clogged with something else (trouble at work, home, run down by sickness, or lack of sleep), do you think you could effectively search? Do you thing you could effectively work the IC?

"Your team is only as strong as its weakest member"


Things to remember: 1 - Be aware of your environment. You do not always know who is around you (media, family, and friends of potential survivor). 2 - Voices carry farther thank you think, and when using a radio remember that everyone is listening. 3 - No one speaks to the media, unless instructed by the SAR Manager or a RCMP Officer. 4 - There will be a media liaison setup by the SAR Management group. 5 - You may be asked by SAR Management to help the media, and there will be instructions on what to do. 6 - Be careful whom you talk to, an innocent question by someone could turn into a harmful quote in the local paper, television, or on the radio.

We are professional volunteers, so we must act professional. Saying or doing something stupid or silly in the relative security (term used loosely) of base camp can go very wrong!

Page 5.)

Public Relations Policy

Pincher Creek SAR adopted August 2001 Our Search and Rescue group deals with situations where people's lives can hang in the balance. The group must strive for the very best relationship with the public and the organizations with which it deals. We cannot afford to have individuals or organizations hesitate to call upon us or to work with us in resolving an emergency. For this reason, we do not take sides on any controversy in the community. Our SAR group holds no opinion on matters outside of Search and Rescue and the Civil Emergency Response. We welcome members regardless of their apparent alignment to any faction or clique; we judge them solely on their contributions to the Search and Rescue effort. Our group is judged not only by its formal organizational face, but by the actions of its members. Whenever we wear the Search and Rescue name, whether on a coat or hat or on our vehicle, whenever we say we are Search and Rescue volunteers, we are associating ourselves with Search and Rescue and our actions will reflect on the SAR group. At these times we should • be prepared to help out in any emergency within the limits of our training and ability, •be respectful of others, and, •if offering an opinion, clearly distinguish when we are reflecting the policies of the SAR group and when we are expressing our own views. When we work or train for emergencies, we inevitably build relationships with people in positions of authority. As SAR volunteers we respect the privilege of having these relationships and only request special treatment when needed to deal with emergencies, training and education. As volunteers, we put a lot of time, effort, and soul into Search and Rescue. It is often tempting to seek out the appreciation of the community by making it clear how much we individually have contributed -- by saying in effect "look at me, look at what I have done." However, it is largely impossible to put ourselves forward without some people seeing it as self-promoting. So this we are asked to give up for the benefit of the SAR group. At times we will feel under appreciated. The thanks we receive, although welcome will be infrequent and from some sources altogether missing. This too we are asked to suffer quietly. We give up the desire for special recognition and treat our role in Search and Rescue with reverence. We willingly do so in order to have the very best relationship with the public and other organizations with which we work and on which we rely in an emergency. These things we do, that others may live.

In addition to these pages, a Personnel Record sheet, Resource Checklist, and Expense Form are in the hardcopy package.

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