Pardon our absence, it has been exceptionally busy since we last spoke. Anyone who watched the annual federal budget has learned that GSAR is finally getting recognition? There’s a new way for MGSAR to mix and mingle? Starting out our new training plans with a bang? Vulnerability sector checks now expected for active searchers? And last but certainly not least, responding in style?
All the blood, sweat and tears rewarded to the unpaid professionals! Similar to the Fireman’s tax break, we’ll be receiving one as well. For 200 MGSAR sanctioned hours (don’t forget to sign-in, that’s your proof!) we can receive up to a $3000 tax break. It was originally thought that the hours were only for searches.
There are actually two types of hours; primary and secondary. Searches, meetings, fundraising, training and preparing are primary hours. Hug-A-Tree and truck/trailer maintenance are secondary. Your primary hours must exceed your secondary hours however and both must total a minimum of 200. It’s not all about going in the woods, don’t forget. Being a volunteer lifesaving organization, searching is the least of it.
If you feel you’d like to work towards these hours yourself, once a member, here’s a few ways you can. 🙂
MLPI and Mock Search
That’s correct, your eyes aren’t deceiving you, you’re reading MLPI, the acronym for, “Managing the Lost Person Incident!” This is the big one for our Search Manager training. We now have two but to keep true to our Memorandum of Understanding with the RCMP (and working on municipal!) we need 4 x 4, meaning four Search Managers and twelve Searchers. We already have two rounded up to go but we’re still waiting for a third? Must have an interest in seeing your team grow towards our independence and willing to spend some time sharing in managing the search function. The dates will be May 1-4, 2014 in Fredericton. Anyone interested, please let us know ASAP (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can get you registered. Pre-requisite ICS100. Please make sure if you’ve done the course that we have a copy of your certificate. If you don’t have it yet, feel free to do the online course at; http://apsts.alberta.ca/online-courses/ics-100/
Our mock search has been seemingly doomed by crazy snowstorms and curses (our apologies) the last few weeks and it will now be held on March 29 & 30, 2014. Same idea, mock search at 1000hrs and will work into an overnight survival. More details will follow.
2014 Miramichi Flyfishing and Sportsman Show
What better way to not only educate fellow woodsmen on what to do/not do when lost in the woods and also recruit fellow enthusiasts, than go to their very own show? We’ve been officially invited, as past attendees, by the Miramichi Fly Fishing Club. They’d like us to bring the Command Post and trailer, set up a booth and even do a couple of Hug-A-Tree sessions.
The show is April 11 & 12, 2014 at Miramichi Valley High School and we need help manning our exhibits? Tasks are very sedentary work, primarily educating and networking, can be at the trailer or at booth inside. It will be open to the schools on Friday and public on Saturday. All interested please reply (email@example.com) ASAP so we can send you the hours needed and work out our schedule. We’re also taking any donations for a silent auction we’re planning on having.
And Speaking of Command Post…
… and having it ready for display? It’s not only ready to display, it’s also ready to deploy! Our new to us, decommissioned firetruck that was donated by the City of Miramichi (see previous post) after all our hard work for recognition of the need, now has all the makings of a CP; Ops board, Comms, Planning Section area, hitch, electrical et al. Logistics shall be contained to the trailer still, of course. It also appears we may have started something as our Northerly neighbours, Restigouche Ground Search and Rescue, is also in the works of trying to get an old firetruck from their surplus. North Shore representin’, that’s for shore!
Vulnerability Sector Checks…
… are now replacing the Criminal Background Checks. They’re a little more in depth with the scope of their search and rule out the possibility of someone with a criminal background tarnishing your report. You will be expected to provide fingerprints only if there’s a conflict. It’s time for your annual renewals anyways so please print off the form on this website or drop us a line (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can get one to you and you can drop it off to any MGSAR Executive or scan and email it back or drop it off at our meetings which is the second Sunday of the month, 1900hrs, at Station 2, at the Miratech building on the base in Chatham. Our local RCMP and municipal police are aware of these changes and are still honouring our forms. Thanks for your co-operation.