Frequently Asked Questions
Why “Technical” Search and Rescue?
While Search & Rescue teams in Alberta are primarily focused on Ground Search & Rescue (GSAR), our organization is comprised of several specialized technical teams, trained in a variety of advanced rescue techniques. TSR operates and maintains specialist teams in the following areas: Rope Rescue, Ice Rescue, Swift Water Rescue, Remote Medical Response & Evacuation, and Equine/Heavy Animal Rescue.
What services does TSR provide?
Through established relationships with local emergency service organizations, TSR members are trained to support search & rescue operations in the areas of man tracking, SAR management, swift water rescue, slope evacuation, and evidence searches.
We also teach prevention education through the Adventure Smart program.
Does it cost anything for your services?
Our services are 100% free.
Where does TSR get its funding?
TSR is funded 100% funded by donations. A large portion of our operational funding comes from provincial and municipal grants, which help with operation and training costs. We also have a Fundraising Committee that focuses on raising funds for new equipment and maintenance. TSR’s home base is in downtown Grande Prairie, in a shared space that the City of Grande Prairie has allowed the organization to use at no cost.
How do I volunteer? How long is training period to become a volunteer?
We run one recruitment drive a year for operational members. Recruitment opens from December 1 to January 31.
Training includes three SAR Basics training weekends – usually held in April and May, including one overnight outdoor skills weekend.
We have an ongoing need for support members.
Please note that criminal record checks are required for ALL positions.
What is the time commitment to be a member?
Members are expected to dedicate a minimum 60 hours annually.
Are there ways to be involved with the team without being an operational member?
Yes, TSR has a dedicated team of support members who provide assistance to the operational teams. Support tasks vary, but may include transportation of personnel, equipment, and supplies, maintaining area confinement, public education, and fundraising. Many support tasks do not require physical strength, or attendance in the field.
If you would like to be involved in a support capacity, please email email@example.com for more information.
How much do your members get paid?
TSR is made up entirely of unpaid, specially trained volunteers, who donate their time to help the community.
When was Technical Search and Rescue Established?
TSR was established in August 1995, at the request of the Grande Prairie RCMP, who recognized a need for SAR services within the community.
If I am lost can I call a search and rescue team on my own to come find me?
TSR is dispatched through a tasking agency such as the RCMP, Fire, EMS or the STARS Emergency Link Centre.
How many Search and Rescue missions are handled each year, on average?
We had 28 Search and Rescue missions in 2020.