Some of you may know I’ve been volunteering with Colchester Ground Search and Rescue for almost a year and a half now. The first year was spent getting the training to be a qualified searcher and involved a lot of exercises in the woods and fields around our base in Debert, including an overnight in the woods in -17 c.

Because of my training in the Canadian Armed forces and 43 years as a long-haul truck driver I was also quickly certified to drive GSAR trucks and trailers and take extra training to be able to fill the position of radio operator whenever required.

To be fair, our son Johnathan was the first to join GSAR and very soon after persuaded me to check it out. It wasn’t a hard sell as I’ve been looking for a way to serve in our community ever since retiring from the road. Not long after that, son James also joined the team, and just recently our grandson Matthew has signed up as well. Johnathan’s partner Jessica, has been a GSAR team member for 2 years, so you could say it’s a definite family focus.

We’ve been on a number of searches since I joined, some successful and some not so much but it’s great to be part of an organization that takes public safety and security so seriously and serves so selflessly. The first year I took part in many fundraising events including parking cars at the Riverside National Speedway near Antigonish, and helping out with Chase the Ace in Debert. Covid-19 sort of put the kibosh to a lot of that sort of activity but some things are slowly coming back.

All in all, it’s a great organization. We have some fantastic team members, leaders, and trainers. If you’re in the Colchester area and you’d like to make a difference in your community, we’d be happy to talk to you about joining the team. For that matter, no matter where you live, if you have even a mild interest in this type of volunteer work, please consider your local GSAR team.