This past Saturday I attended a search exercise with Colchester Ground Search and Rescue along with several other local GSAR teams. It was actually a follow up to the Dylan Ehler search to search the shoreline of the Cobequid Bay for clues.
We had a great day for it. Some felt it was a bit warm but no way to please everyone. We had a great turnout of volunteers and covered primarily the north side of the bay all the way out to the Bass River lighthouse. There is talk of us holding another training exercise in October to cover the south side.
I spent the day in the radio room in the command trailer as usual, except this time I wasn’t running solo. I was lucky enough to be partnered up with a very experienced radio operator, Debbie MacDonald, who works for Shubie Radio, which is operated by the provincial Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and acts as the provincial dispatching centre. The dispatch centre is located in Shubenacadie, Hants county, and dispatches the following agencies:
DNR wildlife conservation officers
DNR provincial park staff
DNR fire control
Department of Justice (corrections, prisoner transport, sheriffs)
Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal vehicle compliance officers and motor carrier inspectors
Shubie Radio is also responsible for coordination of some Emergency Management Office (EMO) and Ground Search and Rescue operations, coordinating use of the mutual aid talk groups on the provincial Maritime Public Safety Radio Network (MPSRN), dispatching some volunteer fire departments in Guysborough county, and coordinating other radio-related activities on behalf of the province’s Public Safety and Field Communications office.
It was obvious I was out of my depth, but we managed to work very well together and I look forward to doing so again.