Important dates

2018/2019 reporting document deadlines: June 30, 2020

2019/2020 Extension/Course Change requests: April 1, 2021

2019/2020 Course completion: May 31, 2021

2019/2020 Reporting document deadlines: June 30, 2021

Overview

The Ground Search and Rescue Program (GSAR) provides funding to support:

  • increased training for technical rescue and ground search and rescue personnel
  • increasing the skills and capability of technical rescue and ground search and rescue personnel

Key outcomes of the program include:

  • increasing the capability of Alberta’s search and rescue communities to respond to ground and inland searches
  • enhancing Alberta’s system for managing emergencies

For more information, read the most recent Ground Search and Rescue: Program Guidelines 2019/2020.

Funding

Grant allocation will be dependent on:

  • the course, exercise or workshop being offered
  • the number of participating stakeholders
  • the benefit to the region in terms of improving the safety system

Funding is made as a lump-sum payment for the eligible course, exercise or workshop.

Funding requirements

To receive funds, you, your group or organization must:

  • have met all conditions of any previous grants that your group/organization received
  • agree to cover any costs over and above the grant
  • apply by the deadline by submitting an application, including any letters of support

Table 1. 2019/2020 GSAR Grant recipients

Search and rescue (SAR) group Approved amount
Badlands Search and Rescue Association $3,851
Calgary Search and Rescue Association $5,288
Calling Lake Search and Recsue Society $5,287
Cold Lake Search and Rescue Society $5,288
Edmonton Regional Search & Rescue Association $5,000
Foothills Search and Rescue Society $10,499
Fort McMurray Search & Rescue Society $6,600
Hinton Search and Rescue Association $8,855
Klondike Trail Search and Rescue Association $5,287
Lethbridge Area Search and Rescue Association $6,600
Little Divide Search and Rescue Society $11,804
Parkland Search and Rescue Society $11,804
Pincher Creek Search and Rescue Society $5,400
Rocky Mountain House Volunteer Search and Rescue Society $11,804
Search and Rescue Dog Association of Alberta $6,600
South Eastern Alberta Search and Rescue Association $6,600
St. Paul Search and Rescue Society $6,600
Sundre Volunteer Search and Rescue Society $8,429
The Greenview Search and Rescue Association $11,804
Whitecourt Search and Rescue Society $6,600
Grand total $150,000

Eligible entities

Eligible entities include Ground Search and Rescue and technical rescue groups serving Albertans.

Ineligible entities

Ineligible entities include:

  • groups that do not have a current proof of registration under the Alberta Societies Act
  • groups that did not meet previous years’ compliance requirements

Eligible project costs

The following courses and activities are eligible for funding:

Search and rescue leadership and management

Table 2. SAR leadership and management courses and activities

Course Name Course Description
2-day Team Leader SAR-trained and experienced volunteers learn the necessary management skills to lead and conduct the resources during a search.
2-day SAR Search Manager Recertification This refresher course focusing on initial response is a priority course. Teams in regions are encouraged to train together and to bring in their local police to participate in this course. Participation is limited to certified Search Managers.
Tabletop Exercise Exercises focusing on SAR management in a regional or multi-team participation.
Provincial Exercise Live exercise utilizing resources typically involved in SAR activities. This exercise has resources from across the province.
5-day Search Manager SAR trained and experienced volunteers learn the necessary management skills to lead and conduct a search.
Train the Trainer Participants learn to teach the basic entry level search and rescue skills and theory.
SAR Training Specialized training programs (will be evaluated on a case by case basis).

SAR skills

Table 3. SAR skills courses and activities

Course Name Course Description
All terrain vehicle or Utility Task Vehicle Safety Course In accordance with Canada Safety Council Standard
Boating Course In accordance with Canada Safety Council Standard
Snowmobile Course In accordance with Canada Safety Council Standard
Man-tracking Participants learn to use clues and evidence left behind by the missing person(s).
Global positioning system Training As applicable to course, but application must include an explanation of the course required, number of attendees anticipated, and substantiation of the requirement.
SAR Searcher Course Participants learn the basic entry-level search and rescue skills and theory.
SAR Training Specialized training programs (will be evaluated on a case by case basis).

Rescue skills

Table 4. Rescue skills courses and activities

Course Name Course Description
Wilderness First Aid Basic and/or advanced course. Wilderness First Aid at the St. John’s Ambulance or Red Cross level includes a recertification for Basic First Aid/CPR/AED.
Swift Water Rescue As applicable to course, but application must include an explanation of the course required, number of attendees anticipated, and substantiation of the requirement.
Rope Rescue NFPA 1006 or British Columbia Cave Standard. Application must include an explanation of the course required, number of attendees anticipated, and substantiation of the requirement.
Standard First Aid In accordance with the Red Cross or
St. John’s Ambulance curriculum. See also Wilderness First Aid above.
Specialized Technical As applicable to course, but application must include an explanation of the course required, number of attendees anticipated, and substantiation of the requirement.
SAR Training Specialized training programs (will be evaluated on a case by case basis).

Ineligible project costs

Ineligible project costs include:

  • capital or equipment purchases, upgrades or repairs
  • training carried out before the minister signs the conditional grant agreement
  • student wages, travel, meals or subsistence

After you apply

Application criteria

Applications will be evaluated on history of past training received, a detailed training plan included in the application and regional training needs.

There is an emphasis on teams working together in regions (as much as geography allows). Applications that benefit multiple stakeholders and provide maximum benefit to the Alberta public safety system will get priority.

Successful applicants

Applicants will be notified within 2 1/2 months of the application deadline. Both successful and unsuccessful applicants will receive a notification. The president and treasurer of your search and rescue group must sign the conditional grant agreement.

Training can start after the minister or his representative signs the conditional grant agreement.

The minister’s decisions regarding grant funding are final.

Reporting requirements

2018/2019 Reporting documents are due June 30, 2020

2019/2020 Reporting documents are due June 30, 2021

Use the GSAR Reporting Form to help fill out your reporting requirements.

Extensions and changes

Extension or change requests must be received prior to April 1, 2021.

Any material changes to the training plan, schedule or budget approved under this grant will require notification to, and approval by, Alberta Municipal Affairs.

Call the grants coordinator toll free at 1-866-421-6929 or email firecomm@gov.ab.ca to obtain an extension request/course change form.

Contact

Connect with the Technical and Corporate Services Division grants coordinator if you have any questions about the program or these guidelines:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-644-1010 (within Canada and the United States)
Toll free: 1-866-421-6929
Email: firecomm@gov.ab.ca