In the News

Sep 12, 2018

Coquitlam City Councillor Teri Towner initiated an online petition calling on the Government of Canada to recognize the valued service within search and rescue communities by establishing March 1 as “National Search and Rescue Day” to honour the living, past and present search and rescue volunteers to whom Canadians owe an immense debt of gratitude.  In British Columbia, March 2 is proclaimed SAR Volunteer Memorial Day to honour those volunteers who have lost their lives while on a quest to save others.
The petition is available for more signatures at:
Throughout Canada there are hundreds of established search and rescue teams, comprised of more than 12,000 dedicated search and rescue volunteers.  The possibility for danger and inherent risks at play in search and rescue operations are over and above the typical service of other volunteers and volunteer organizations.  SAR volunteers train thousands of hours to provide search and rescue services in the air, land, and water.

“One of the reasons I created this petition to the Government of Canada is because the work of search and rescue volunteers is NOT typical volunteer work," says Towner. "Although these dedicated volunteers provide assistance to people in distress, they also quite often face the worst-case scenario and end up doing search and recovery rather than search and rescue. When I launched this petition, I never once thought that SAR volunteers would one day be searching for one of my extended family members.  A sincere thank you goes out to the Tuktoyaktuk Search and Rescue Society and all the volunteers involved in the search for my cousin’s husband, John Holliday.  May he be resting in peace.”

This petition is supported by Ron McKinnon, Member of Parliament for Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam. Noting that search and rescue volunteers "drop whatever they are doing any time of day or night to search for and provide aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger," McKinnon agrees they are "deserving of distinctive recognition."