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SAR Response Under the Gun Again

Occam

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former user said:
It's online now.



http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/Shows/the_fifth_estate/1278707885/ID=2214820151

So are the links to the RCC log and to DND's response - see the buttons to the right of the webpage.

http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/2011-2012/lostontheice/
 

Journeyman

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...and yet I've heard that the RCAF's SAR-related priority is to ban the SAR Techs' berets with DEUs.  ::)
 

Nfld Sapper

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Statement

Makkovik coordinated Search and Rescue efforts: context and perspective

NR - 00.0XX - March 24, 2012


Earlier today, the Commander of Canada Command, Lieutenant-General Walter Semianiw, in his capacity as senior military Commander for Search and Rescue, issued the following statement:

“I want to provide further context and perspective regarding the coordinated search and rescue efforts to locate Burton Winters, who went missing in a severe winter storm near Makkovik on the north coast of Labrador, this past February.

Burton Winters’ death was a tragedy. We add our heartfelt condolences to those that have already been expressed. Burton Winters’ loss raised public awareness regarding the enumerable challenges that people who are involved with search and rescue in Canada frequently face when dealing with the harsh and unforgiving conditions of the North.

The following information was made available to the public through the media during two news conferences held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on February 4th and in St. John’s, Newfoundland, on February 8th, 2012.

In Canada, Search and Rescue is a shared responsibility among federal, provincial/territorial and volunteer organizations, and there is an organizational distinction between the responsibility for ground Search and Rescue (SAR), and aeronautical and maritime SAR.  The Canadian Forces (CF) have the primary responsibility for the provision of aeronautical SAR services (search for downed aircraft) whereas the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) is responsible for maritime SAR services. The CF are also responsible for the effective operation of this coordinated aeronautical and maritime SAR system. Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) in Canada is conducted under the legal authority of the individual provinces and territories. This authority is delegated for operational response to the police service of jurisdiction.

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) Halifax first received a call from Fire and Emergency Services-Newfoundland and Labrador (FES NL) on 30 January 2012 about an ongoing ground search for a 14-year-old male who was reported missing on a snowmobile near Makkovik, Labrador. The ground search was being led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), who has responsibility for GSAR in this area. The weather at Makkovik initially prevented FES NL contracted helicopters from participating in a search, prompting them to contact the JRCC Halifax in order to identify if other assets were available.

The coordinator on duty at the JRCC Halifax followed established procedures. When the initial call came in for a CF aircraft to support the GSAR efforts, the JRCC Halifax made an assessment on the provision of CF support based on such considerations as weather, aircraft positioning, aircraft serviceability and the requirement to maintain the CF’s mandated Aeronautical and Maritime SAR response in the region.

Based on all of these factors, the CF could not provide aeronautical support to the search at that juncture. As a result, FES NL then engaged contracted helicopters for the search, in accordance with normal GSAR protocols, as soon as the weather improved. On 31 January 2012, the JRCC Halifax received another request from FES NL for CF air support to do a search of the region in support of GSAR, and a CH-146 Griffon helicopter was tasked to support the ground search accordingly.

Historically, the Canadian federal aeronautical and maritime SAR system has responded to more than 9,000 cases annually, tasking CF aircraft or ships in about 1,100 of these cases. These actions over the years have saved many lives. Some CF members have also lost their own lives in search and rescue attempts. 

Burton Winters’ family deserves our sympathy and support. One must appreciate the complexities in the decision making process of all SAR cases, with each having their own distinct challenges. We in the CF are saddened by the loss of Burton Winters. We grieve every time a search and rescue attempt is unsuccessful. Canadians can be confident in the CF SAR community’s dedication to serve them, and in the professionalism they demonstrate on a daily basis.”

- 30 -

Notes to editor / news director: For more information on the Search and Rescue Protocol Review, please visit the following link: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=4106
 

OldSolduer

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Journeyman said:
:facepalm:  Uh, because SAR Techs are different?

Agreed. How many people are suited for the extensive selection and training a SAR Tech will undergo? How many can handle the on call situations?

How many can earn TWO Medals Of Bravery? (I asked that particular SAR Tech if he was retarded....he laughed and responded yes I am)

I wager not many.

And now the RCAF wants to sh!tcan the beret? Please..... :facepalm:
 

dapaterson

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Journeyman said:
...and yet I've heard that the RCAF's SAR-related priority is to ban the SAR Techs' berets with DEUs.  ::)

I, for one, look forward to the bright orange wedges that SAR techs will wear on parade.
 

Strike

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Jim Seggie said:
And now the RCAF wants to sh!tcan the beret? Please..... :facepalm:

I seriously doubt that SAR techs require an orange beret to feel important, or make everyone know who they are.  From the SAR techs I've met, they are only egotistical to each other and very humble when talking about their jobs to outsiders.  Has anyone bothered asking how they feel about the whole thing? Or are we all just assuming that we are doing right by them when they very well may not even care?
 

Jimmy_D

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The only thing that gets me with taking the orange away from SAR, correct me if I'm wrong. Is that orange (hunter orange / blaze orange / red-orange) is a nation or international sign of SAR wheather or not it is GSAR or military SAR is it not?
 

ballz

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Strike said:
Has anyone bothered asking how they feel about the whole thing? Or are we all just assuming that we are doing right by them when they very well may not even care?

I think we've become sidetracked. This beret thing originally started because Journeyman mentioned that the leadership was more worried about berets, as opposed to real issues, and that's where the complaint lies. It really had nothing to do with whether or not the SAR techs cared about their beret, because it appears (to me, from Journeyman's comment) they're arguing that there are more important things to worry about (and there definitely is).
 

mariomike

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Jimmy_D said:
The only thing that gets me with taking the orange away from SAR, correct me if I'm wrong. Is that orange (hunter orange / blaze orange / red-orange) is a nation or international sign of SAR wheather or not it is GSAR or military SAR is it not?

The only SAR I ever saw is HUSAR ( formed after 9/11 ), and the Marine Unit. They wore same blue work clothes as the rest of us. Now with bright yellow jackets.

Years ago, ambulances had wide wrap around "Omaha Orange" stripes. It was common all over North America. Maybe they still paint them orange in some places. For a short time ( less than a year ), there were orange cross emblems ( the Red Cross complained ). The Star of Life was originally orange, and later changed to blue.
Even the stations, and old textbooks, were orange.

The air ambulances in Ontario are painted orange.

The Canadian EMS ESM has "three stripes of Philadelphia orange 2.3 mm in width".

So, the colour orange has a history in Canadian emergency operations.
 

PanaEng

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Spectrum said:
The following should be CF SOP's WRT the CBC:

1) Avoid the CBC at all costs

2) When option 1 fails, for the love of god - don't read the comments.

Absolutely NOT!!
The opposite should be done. They, like any other media corp, take their cue from their readers - at least they should.
What we should be doing, as individuals, visit the website and tastefully and professionally comment on matters that interest you. Submit comments to the editors, etc.

 

The Bread Guy

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The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, today announced that another CH-146 Griffon helicopter will be established at 5 Wing Goose Bay. With this addition, three Griffon helicopters will now provide utility helicopter capability at 5 Wing.

"A third Griffon aircraft at 5 Wing Goose Bay will have an immediate positive impact on the operational readiness of the base and provide flexibility to decision makers on the use of Canadian Forces assets in the region," said Minister MacKay. "This helicopter represents another resource that can contribute to Canada's Search and Rescue system in support of primary responders in this region."

The third helicopter provides greater operational flexibility by increasing the potential of having serviceable aircraft to support operations and training. It will also increase the availability of aircraft with which to support the squadron's secondary roles, including support to Search and Rescue missions. Any Canadian Forces aircraft can be called upon to contribute to Search and Rescue missions when necessary, in addition to those permanently assigned to this role. Ground Search and Rescue in Canada is conducted under the authority of provinces and territories, who may request federal support, including air services ....
DND/CF Info-machine, 11 Apr 12
 

Rifleman62

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http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2012/05/06/nl-winters-audio-506.html?cmp=rss

DND tapes question N.L. role in search for lost boy on ice

Body of Burton Winters recovered from the sea ice near Makkovik on Feb. 2

CBC News - Posted: May 7, 2012 - Updated: May 7, 2012

Audio recordings raise new questions about the role of the Newfoundland government in the search for a 14-year-old who died on the sea ice off the north coast of Labrador last winter.N.L.'s role in search2:51

Audio recordings obtained by CBC News raise new questions about the role of the Newfoundland government in the search for a 14-year-old who died on the sea ice off the north coast of Labrador last winter.

The recordings suggest emergency officials in the province were slow to react after they were alerted the first day Burton Winters was reported missing — Jan. 29.

Federal military search and rescue has been criticized for not sending help to the search area quickly enough during the four-day operation, but military officials didn’t know Winters was missing until the day after he was reported lost.

The body of Burton Winters, 14, of Makkovik, Labrador, was retrieved from the sea ice outside his hometown on Feb.2, 2012.The body of Burton Winters, 14, of Makkovik, Labrador, was retrieved from the sea ice outside his hometown on Feb.2, 2012. (Photo courtesy of his family)

The RCMP were told that Winters was missing at 6:30 p.m. NT, Sunday, Jan. 29.

With volunteers on snowmobiles already looking for the 14-year-old, police said they didn't request air support from provincial officials until Monday morning.

It's up to the province to determine if the military is needed for air searches.

But recordings released to CBC News suggest RCMP in Makkovik did ask the province for help the day Winters was reported missing, but were told to call back in the morning.

    'They won't even do it. I tried to do that the first time, they said oh no, call us back in the morning,'—Cpl.Kimball Vardy

One of the recordings released by the Department of National Defence to CBC News includes a conversation on the third day of the search. It’s between RCMP Cpl. Kimball Vardy in Labrador and a military search and rescue dispatcher, Capt. Kristin MacDonald, in Nova Scotia.

MacDonald tells Vardy to contact EMO — the provincial Emergency Measures Organization now known as Fire and Emergency Services (FES) — to arrange aircraft for first light.

"I think EMO should try to make some arrangements tonight so they're not caught off guard in the morning," said MacDonald.

An obviously frustrated Vardy responds that he doesn't believe EMO will start making preparations that night:

"You know what? They won't even do it. I tried to do that the first time, they said, 'Oh no, call us back in the morning, call us back in the morning,'" said Vardy, explaining that the RCMP had been down this road with EMO before on that first, crucial night of searching for Winters.

"We went through that the very first day. We requested it that night, they never even looked at anything until eight o'clock the next morning, and I don't think they were here until after 10 a.m. or ... no, it was actually almost one o'clock in the afternoon before the helicopter arrived."

Province denies contact on 1st night

For its part, the provincial government insists it was not contacted the first night Winters was reported missing.

Another person who took part in the search, and was with Vardy the first night Winters was reported missing, said the audio recording raises questions that must be answered.

"We all thought the call [on the first night] was going out for air support," said Randy Edmunds, the Liberal MHA for the Torngat Mountains district of Labrador.

"This raises more questions and furthers [our] calls for an inquiry."
Burton Winters walked 19 kilometres over rough sea ice after abandoning his snowmobile pictured below from a helicopter.Burton Winters walked 19 kilometres over rough sea ice after abandoning his snowmobile pictured below from a helicopter. (RCMP)

The teen's body was recovered on Feb. 2.

Within days, critics began raising questions about how the search was conducted and calling for a review to scrutinize what happened.

The Winters family still wants that inquiry because there are too many unanswered questions.

Click here (at Link) to hear parts of the recordings that were obtained by CBC News.
 

The Bread Guy

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Some of the latest....
Information regarding the use of a military aircraft at the end of January 2012 was recently tabled in Parliament by Minister MacKay. A Cormorant training flight that flew from CFB Gander to St. John's on 30 January 2012 is listed in this documentation. January 30th is the same day that a ground search and rescue operation was being led by the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador for Burton Winters. My intent with this communication is to provide context to this flight in light of the tragic passing of Burton Winters.

The Canadian Forces have consistently stated the operational decision not to deploy a Cormorant was based on a number of complex and inter-related factors to include: weather, aircraft availability, distance to the search area and the requirement to respond to an aeronautical and/or maritime search and rescue call which is the primary responsibility of the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces.

The Cormorant in question, the region's primary SAR standby aircraft, left CFB Gander on a scheduled training flight at 8:30am that day.  The conduct of training by SAR standby crews is entirely normal and does not impact SAR reaction time. Indeed, It allows crews to maintain their high level of readiness.  The first call for assistance came from the Province to the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) at 9:12am.  Acknowledging that the Cormorant and crew on the training flight were in fact also the SAR standby response, and immediately available for SAR missions when required, they were not tasked by the JRCC owing to the factors already stated. Had the Cormorant been tasked to participate in the search, owing to the distances involved it would have first needed to refuel in Goose Bay and would not have arrived until after other civilian aircraft were already on scene. The fact that a training flight was conducted did not in any way impact the Canadian Force's ability to respond and was not a factor in the decision making process on that day.

Military personnel have worked with the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and have updated their call-back procedures so there is better coordination and communications between all involved in Search and Rescue missions. In addition, Minister MacKay directed the Canadian Forces to add another Griffon helicopter to the fleet at CFB Goose Bay to provide greater operational flexibility by increasing the potential of having serviceable aircraft to support operations and training.

In closing, the Canadian Forces stand ready to assist Provincial and Territorial authorities whenever they are called upon and able to do so.

Lieutenant-General Walter Semianiw
Canada Command
 
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