Winnipeg Search and Rescue

A Chapter of Search & Rescue Manitoba

Over the past 20 years, the Province of Manitoba Ground Search & Rescue Program has transformed from a virtually untrained group of volunteers, into a highly trained and dedicated Volunteer Search and Rescue Network and valuable resource to the Province of Manitoba.

Recognizing the huge gap in the provincial response system, The Office of the Fire Commissioner of Manitoba (OFC), and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) ‘D’ Division along with Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) submitted a joint application for funds to the National Search and Rescue Secretariat’s (NSS) New Initiative Fund (NIF) to establish a comprehensive Search and Rescue (SAR) program for the Province.

The NIF project was approved and funding provided to support the initial development and delivery of an education and prevention program for the Province, the training and development of a Volunteer Ground SAR network, and the creation of a provincial Search and Rescue Association which came to be known as Search and Rescue Manitoba or SARMAN The shared vision was that this response network would initially be developed through the existing, and highly successful Provincial Mutual Aid System.

The responsibility for lost or missing persons in the Province of Manitoba rests with the Police Agency having jurisdiction. The Office of the Fire Commissioner, through the Manitoba Emergency Services College has been given the task of developing and delivering Ground Search and Rescue training to the volunteer SAR network of Manitoba, and to coordinate the response of this network to support the policing agencies.

The Winnipeg Search and Rescue Association was created in 2005 by off duty WPS members that wanted to contribute their skills and experience to the volunteer network. In 2007 the WPS members were joined by civilian staff and WPS volunteers who also wanted to participate in searches in support of other jurisdictions.

In 2008, the name Winnipeg Search and Rescue Association was given a name notation through the Province of Manitoba name registry. Winnipeg Search and Rescue was also formally recognized as Chapter of SARMAN to represent SAR volunteers in the Winnipeg area. WINSAR normally has 50-60 members ready to provide multiple search teams if requested by the WPS, RCMP or OFC.

In 2010 the first members with no affiliation with the Winnipeg Police Service were accepted into the association and have provided a valuable addition to our organization.