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Pictou County ground search and rescue looking for volunteers

Art Frost, Mary-Ann Spears and Jannette Brown, helped organize an information session for Pictou County Ground Search & Rescue outside Wal-Mart in New Glasgow on Sept. 21.
Art Frost, Mary-Ann Spears and Jannette Brown, helped organize an information session for Pictou County Ground Search & Rescue outside Wal-Mart in New Glasgow on Sept. 21. - Kevin Adshade

NEW GLASGOW

Time is tight for everyone, but Pictou County Ground Search & Rescue is looking for a few good men and women to join their organization.

Charlie Strickland, one of the Pictou County Ground Search & Rescue members who held an information session in New Glasgow on Saturday, said that while the organization has had a few new people sign up in recent weeks, there’s always a need for more.

“We have about 60, we’d like to have a hundred or more,” he said.

“We go with whatever people, we have available. A lot of time, people are at work, people are on vacation, maybe sick. We need to have extra people, so when a search happens, we’ll have enough. We need 25-30 people to do a search properly.”

Volunteers are offered free training and some equipment is provided, and they are also instructed on the type of clothing they are required to wear when undertaking a search effort.

The local organization is one of 23 such teams around the province and many times, when a search is underway, and the person(s) they are looking for are not immediately found, other teams are asked to join in the effort.

Strickland estimates that up to 75 per cent of the searches are outside Pictou County (volunteers are given gas mileage when they have to travel).

He said it’s particularly gratifying for the volunteers when a search has a successful ending.

“It’s a big relief. These people are all volunteers, they give up a lot of their time to do this, and they want to a successful search.

Conversely, not all searches have a happy ending, but it’s still helpful to friends and family members of those who’d been missing.

“We’ll have occasions where we do a search and the person is not alive when we find them, but that at least gives closure to the family,” he said.

For more information, contact the Pictou County Ground Search & Rescue via email at: pcvgsar@gmail.com.

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