Volunteer Today.

Having a variety of available, trained Volunteers impacts the level of GSAR service in our community.

A group of volunteers huddled around a clipboard reviewing a map. They are all intently listening to one person talk.

Become A Member

When you volunteer with us, you'll learn certified search and rescue techniques with a variety of equipment to locate and rescue the “lost person”.

Not all members search in the field, some play a role in supporting the organization in other ways! Volunteers may qualify for provincial and federal income tax incentives for hours of commitment.

Two people assemble a radio tower as a training exersize.

Member Roles

These are just a few of the roles we currently have on the team and are always looking to add more. Learn more about each by clicking the dropdown.

As our team is on call 24/7, members must be trained for various roles to ensure coverage during searches, with flexibility based on specific operational needs.

Do you have a skill you know would be valuble to team? Reach out!

A Basic Searcher must have completed ICS 100 and New Member Orientation within the required probationary period. If not completed within 6 month period membership status is reviewed. Basic searchers should be medically able to search a variety of terrain and conditions.

A trained member of the team, reporting to a team leader, who is tasked to use observation skills to detect clues that may lead to the location of a subject of the search.  

A “Searcher” is above Basic Searcher position and must complete a series of 8 modules including Map and Compass, Survival, and Field Safety. As indicated above Basic Searchers can be called out for a search once probationary period is completed.

A trained GSAR member, reporting to the GSAR Search Manager, responsible for the supervision and conduct of a ground search and rescue team and the implementation of a team assignment. 

The Team Leader must have already completed all Searcher Modules, ICS 200, and Team Leader training. We would like all members to make Team Leader to be a goal of their training.

The Search Manager is the highest level GSAR member at a search operation and reports directly to the Police Incident Commander. The Search Manager is a trained, experienced GSAR member, and under the direction of the Police IC organizes, plans, directs an evidence search, search and rescue operation, and /or emergency civil response. The Search Manager manages the team operation in accordance with CSA Search and Rescue Standards and team operational procedures.

A Search Manager must be with the team for at least 5 years before applying for Search Manager training, they must have completed their Searcher and team Leader training (which includes ICS 200), and must agree to upgrades and training as required to maintain their certification.

The Search Director oversees all responsibility of team operations. This would include deployment, Search Manager assignment, preplans, interagency communications, training programs, equipment and applicable budget and financial submissions. The Search Director has responsibility for team operations.

  • A 1-year elected term of a PCVGSAR member at AGM reporting to the Team President & Executive Board of Directors as described in by-laws. 
  • Should have 3-years’ experience on searches and/or Civil Emergency Response with Overhead Team and should have training as Search Manager’s and/or Plans Chief’s and/or Team Leader’s position for the equivalent length of time.
  • Must be prepared to take training necessary to qualify to Search Manager, if not at that level. For further detail on duties, contact us.

Tasking (portable) Radio Operators are searchers with training on RTT and TMR2 portable radios. Must take Searcher Module 7 and is approximately 4 hours.

The Search Base Radio (or Comms) Operators work in the Incident Command Post and have more extensive radio communications training, including the requirement to be qualified on Marine Radios and Air Radios, each of which requires an exam to obtain their certificate.

A Safety Officer is a member of the Command Staff responsible for monitoring incident operations and advising the Incident Commander on all matters relating to operational safety, including the health and safety of emergency responder personnel.

The Safety Officer is the only GSAR member at a search besides the Search Manager who reports directly to the Police Incident Commander.

The Logistics Section Chief is responsible for providing facilities, services, people, and materials for the incident (search) and participates in the incident plan development. Presently in Nova Scotia, any Section Chief has to have Search Management training to qualify for any of the Section Chief roles.

Team Drivers are Basic Search members that are licensed, can operate the GSAR vehicles, and are insurable by PCVGSAR. Drivers are required to take training to fulfil this position on the team.

Hug-A-Tree and Survive is an AdventureSmart Program promoted and taught to children ages 5 to 14 by our registered volunteers. Training is provided and is supervised until volunteers are confident as presenters. Our team members with various community organizations and groups to teach children basic survival knowledge.

  1. Directors are elected at AGM for a one-year term (min 4, max 7) having completed the probationary period, and having been admitted to full voting membership. The Directors of PCVGSAR shall be the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary, the Treasurer (Executive Committee of the Board of Directors), the Director to the NSGSARA, and the Alternate Director to the NSGSARA.  Duties include overseeing major expenses, working committees, and liability concerns of PCVGSAR as well as reviewing reports from PCVGSAR Director to the Nova Scotia Ground Search And Rescue Association (NSGSARA).  Directors attend the Annual General Meeting, Executive Meetings, and the General Meetings of the PCVGSAR.  All Directors must meet as required by bylaws and team.
  2. PCVGSAR Director to the Nova Scotia Ground Search And Rescue Association (NSGSARA) and Alternate Director to the NSGSARA each elected at the AGM for a term of one year, and also members of the PCVGSAR Board of Directors. Besides the duties above for Directors, these Directors to the NSGSARA must also (one of the two) attend the General and Annual General Meetings of the NSGSARA. They report issues and concerns from the NSGSARA to the Board of Directors who review these issues. All Directors must meet as required by bylaws and team.

Elected at the AGM for a one-year term. A member of the Executive Board of Directors in accordance with the bylaws and chairs Board of Directors meetings, Annual General Meetings, General Meetings, and Executive Committee Meetings; to bring forth business and information to the team.

Elected at the AGM for a one-year term. A member of the Executive Board of Directors in accordance with the bylaws. The Vice-President shall perform the duties of the Chair during the absence, illness or incapacity of the President, or when the Chair may request him/her to do so. The Vice President can take on duties necessary and agreed on to help the administration of this society as long as they do not conflict with his or her role.

Elected at the AGM for a one-year term. As member of the Executive Board of Directors, the Secretaries duties include preparing agendas, records minutes of Board of Directors meetings, Annual General Meetings, General Meetings, and Executive Committee Meeting minutes as well as scheduling meetings. Also drafts letters and answers correspondence. Updates and maintains the Book of Motions after every Annual General and General Meeting. Archives all team records for archive as per the responsibility of a Charitable Organization. The Secretary also sits on the Board of Directors

Elected at the AGM for a one-year term. The Treasurer is to transact and post financial information as per requirements of Canada Revenue Agency for a charitable organization in accordance with accounting principles. This is to be done in a timely manner and report monthly on the financial position a Balance sheet and Income Statement to the team in accordance with the society bylaws for acceptance. The Treasurer is to advise on financial matters such as investments, insurance coverage or any other financial matters, when necessary, and sits as a Director on the Board of Directors.

IT Manager is an important role to setup, advise, and administer various computer programs and hardware necessary for the operation of the GSAR Incident Command Post, training, and website reporting to the President of the PCVGSAR.

This is not an elected position, but is appointed by the Executive with respect to the member’s qualifications and what is needed by the team. The IT manager will need the involvement of other IT-skilled members to support and backup this position.

We play a much larger role in the community than bringing the lost home.