News release

Ground Search and Rescue Team Celebrates First 25 Years

Musquodoboit Valley Ground Search and Rescue Team was congratulated on its 25th anniversary of service to the public by Acting Minister of Emergency Management David Morse today, April 25.

"This is an important milestone for a team of volunteers who have worked hard to protect the safety of their friends and neighbours for a quarter of a century," Mr. Morse said.

"The dedicated members of the Musquodoboit Valley Ground Search and Rescue Team embody the community spirit that is especially strong in rural Nova Scotia. They deserve our congratulations and thanks."

Agriculture Minister Brooke Taylor also extended his best wishes and gratitude to the team's volunteers.

"These are people you can depend upon to pitch in when someone is missing -- a child, a senior, or a hunter, for example -- and conduct a professional, organized search no matter what the weather conditions are," Mr. Taylor said. "They provide an irreplaceable service to families in times of high anxiety."

Charlie Milner, president of the Musquodoboit Valley Ground Search and Rescue Team, said much has changed since he joined the squad during its early days in 1983. For example, the team has moved from compasses and maps to GPS technology.

"It's a better situation now," Mr. Milner said. "We have better communication, better radio systems and better equipment all around."

Like all ground search and rescue teams, the Musquodoboit Valley team has felt the joy of bringing home a lost person alive, the sorrow of recovering a deceased person, and the frustration of never finding a missing person.

"It's always rewarding when you find someone alive, especially if it happens to be a child," Mr. Milner said. "That's really rewarding for all the work you've put into it over the years."

The Musquodoboit Valley Ground Search and Rescue Team will mark its 25 years of service on Thursday, May 1 with a celebration at the River Oaks Golf Club in Meaghers Grant. Craig MacLaughlan, CEO and deputy head of the Emergency Management Office, will attend and present team members with plaques commemorating their achievement. The office helps train and co-ordinate Nova Scotia's 24 ground search and rescue teams, which have more than 1,500 volunteers.

The Emergency Management Office is administering two federally funded projects, totalling more than $737,000, to equip all 24 teams with GPS units and computerized mapping, as well as linking them digitally via a server based at EMO's headquarters in Dartmouth.

Additionally, ground search and rescue teams across the province are accessing funding for equipment upgrades through the province's Emergency Services Provider Fund, a $5-million, one-year program for volunteer fire departments and other emergency response organizations.

"Public safety is a key priority of government, and enhancing our ground search and rescue capabilities is an important piece of the plan," Mr. Morse said. "These are wise investments."

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The Musquodoboit Valley Ground Search and Rescue Team is celebrating its 25th anniversary of service to the public on Thursday (May 1st).

David Morse, acting minister of Emergency Management, thanked the team's volunteers for their dedicated community service.

Mr. Morse says the province is investing in Nova Scotia's ground search and rescue capability, because it is an important element in government's commitment to public safety.

More than 1,500 Nova Scotians volunteer as members of the province's 24 ground search and rescue teams.

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Media Contacts:

David Rodenhiser
Emergency Management Office 902-424-0284 E-mail:
Charlie Milner
Musquodoboit Valley Ground Search and Rescue Team 902-384-2041