Search & Rescue
When a search is required, the RCMP is contacted first; they assess the situation, and notify Search & Rescue. Next, the call out is started. All members carry pagers or cell phones with text messaging capabilities, which allow the call out to reach all members rapidly. Members then head to the staging area with our mobile command post and all needed search equipment. Arriving at the search area, the search manager lays out a plan. Required information will include where the missing person was last seen, the direction of travel (if possible), the length of time missing, and a description of the persons clothing. The national estimated walking speed is three and one-half miles per hour. The size of the area to be searched is determined by the length of time the individual has been missing. Natural paths and easy access areas are checked out first.
COSAR provides several different programs for the public. The international Hug-a-Tree and Survive program is offered to elementary schools and a variety of customized presentations on many topics. For more information on COSAR's educational programs visit our Education page.
Civil Emergency Assistance
COSAR provides assistance and relief during Civil Emergencies. These emergencies can be declared by the Federal, Provincial, or local governments, and include events such as floods, fires, earthquakes, and other disasters. The most recent civil emergency that COSAR responded to was the Firestorm of 2003. COSAR provided assistance manning road blocks, and delivering evacuation notices and orders.