Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Suspension of SAR Service Not a Problem

The suspension of the military’s search and rescue (SAR) services in Goose Bay isn’t a cause for concern for Nunatsiavut communities.

The combat support squadron in central Labrador has stated that it would no longer respond to search and rescue calls.

This is due to a lack of personnel.

Sid Paine is the Coordinator for Nain SAR.

He says that the majority of searches carried out in the region are done by local SAR teams.

They have a better understanding of the land which gives them an advantage in the search.

When outside resources are needed the first response comes from Gander.

He adds that there are other resources that exist in the communities.

For example, Vale Inco has an agreement with the community of Nain to provide its resources in a search effort if need be.

Paine says his only concern would be for the disruption of medical evacuation services.

Alison Dower is the Regional Director of Communications with Labrador Grenfell Health.

She says that in the past the SAR squadron in central Labrador has assisted in medical evacuations.

They are called in when the weather conditions will not allow for a plane to get in.

Dower says that there is no need to worry because they have a contractual arrangement with commercial companies in case the emergency service is needed.

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