(With excerpts from: New Brunswick Ground Search and Rescue: Policy and Procedures Report, January 2010).
Ground Search and Rescue began as an organized effort in the province of New Brunswick with a small force of approximately sixty members from the present York Sunbury Search & Rescue Team and the Hoyt Search and Rescue Team who responded to a letter from (now retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant) Ray Gauthier that was published in the Fredericton “Daily Gleaner” on October 01, 1983. Sgt. Gauthier’s desire was to have a trained team to respond to lost person emergencies. As a result of these efforts the first New Brunswick Ground Search and Rescue team was incorporated on December 20, 1983.
Believing in the viability and realizing the benefits of such an organization to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other policing agencies, and with Emergency Measures Organization beginning to provide active support– RCMP Staff Sergeant Gordon Snow began the process of assisting the formation of similar teams strategically located across New Brunswick. The province of New Brunswick was originally divided into twelve specific Ground Search and Rescue jurisdictions in which volunteer teams were established and given authority.
With the Search and Rescue concept rapidly expanding province wide, the need developed for a provincial administration to correlate uniform standards and procedures; represent the teams effectively; and to speak with a unified voice when associating with the various agencies and organizations of mutual concern.
Now with administrative assistance and support from EMO, NBGSAR was incorporated into its present structure with Aubrey Foster of Carleton Ground Search and Rescue Inc. as its first provincial president, and under the authority of the Minister of Justice, The Honourable David R. Clark Q.C on May 16, 1986.
EMO further assisted the organization by helping to establish a memorandum of understanding on its role in association with the respective roles of Ground Search and Rescue and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. This memorandum highlighted the operations and training required to provide compensation coverage should a team member be injured during an exercise or on an actual search.
Since its initial formation, NBGSARA has continued to grow, develop and change as an organization with new initiatives and more partner agencies.