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SARx Southwest – Conference

Coquitlam Search and Rescue hosted a two day conference, SARex South West 2014, Saturday and Sunday, September 27-28, 2014. Ground, marine, and air SAR groups in South West BC were invited. Approximately one hundred professional volunteers participated. Representatives from RCM were also in attendance. The conference was held at Douglas College in Coquitlam. Sunday’s training exercises were held at various locations including Pitt Lake, Burke Mountain, and Indian Arm.

The conference was an official BC Search and Rescue endorsed training event. Presentation topics included Medical Rescues & Working BCAS in SAR Operation, UAV Operations, The Role of GSAR in an Earthquake Disaster, Integrated Forensic Identification Services, Project Lifesaver – Locating Missing People with Dementia, Autism, Downs Syndrome, Optimized Search Planning, SAR Command Centre Design, Fixed Wing Support and AdventureSmart Programs.

Paul DeGrace from SAR2 gave a detailed presentation outlining the RCM and it’s vital role in marine rescue.

Sunday’s exercises were coordinated by Coquitlam Command operating out of Coquitlam Town Centre Fire Hall. The goal of the individual training was to provide an opportunity for various groups to interoperate. The simulation exercises provided SAR managers practice in large scale multi-faceted SAR management, test communications throughout the Lower Mainland area, and test tracking of remote field teams.

The RCMSAR Station-2 lifeboat and crew participated in the Indian Arm cross training between ground and marine SAR. The Pitt Lake scenarios included SAR members and equipment from Coquitlam, Ridge Meadows, Surrey, Mission, and Kent Harrison interoperating with CASARA. Burke Mountain exercises included new rope rescue techniques and devices.

For further information on the workshops or exercises at the conference, please contact Coquitlam Search and Rescue Coquitlam-SAR.bc.ca or individual presenters and sponsors.

By Maggie Rayner

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