Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Why is Technical Search and Rescue Important?

Answer: Technical Search and Rescue (TSR) plays a crucial role in complementing the Ground Search & Rescue (GSAR) efforts in Alberta. TSR consists of specialized teams trained in advanced rescue techniques, such as Rope Rescue, Ice Rescue, Swift Water Rescue, Remote Medical Response & Evacuation, and Equine/Heavy Animal Rescue.

  1. What Services does TSR Provide?

Answer: TSR provides various services to support search and rescue operations. These include man tracking, SAR management, swift water rescue, slope evacuation, evidence searches, and prevention education through programs like Adventure Smart.

  1. Is There a Cost for TSR Services?

Answer: No, all TSR services are provided free of charge.

  1. How is TSR Funded?

Answer: TSR is funded entirely through donations. Operational funding comes from provincial and municipal grants, while additional funds for equipment and maintenance are raised through the efforts of the Fundraising Committee. The City of Grande Prairie provides a shared space for TSR’s home base located in South Bear Creek.

  1. How Can I Volunteer for TSR and What is the Training Period?

Answer: Recruitment for operational members occurs annually from December 1 to January 31. Training includes three SAR Basics weekends, usually held in April and May, along with one overnight outdoor skills weekend. Criminal record checks are required for all positions.

  1. What is the Time Commitment to Become a Member of TSR?

Answer: Members are expected to dedicate a minimum of 60 hours annually.  New recruits for the first year are expected to put in a minimum of 100 hours.

  1. Can I Be Involved with TSR Without Being an Operational Member?

Answer: Yes, TSR welcomes support members who assist operational teams with various tasks such as transportation, public education, fundraising, etc. Physical strength is not always required for support tasks.

  1. Do TSR Members Receive Payment?

Answer: No, TSR consists entirely of unpaid volunteers who generously donate their time and skills to serve the community.

  1. When was Technical Search and Rescue Established?

Answer: TSR was established in August 1995, at the request of the Grande Prairie RCMP, to fulfill the need for SAR services within the community.

  1. Can I Call TSR if I am Lost?

Answer: TSR is dispatched through tasking agencies like the RCMP, Fire, EMS, or the STARS Emergency Link Centre.

  1. How Many Search and Rescue Missions Does TSR Handle Annually, on Average?

Answer: TSR handles on average 30 Search and Rescue missions per year.