Every year we gather up the best photos from across Ontario and publish them here for your enjoyment over the holidays. It demonstrates the ongoing contribution of CASARA and the individual dedication of all our members.
“That others may live”
This is a work in progress so please continue to send in your photos!
It was another very successful weekend in St. Thomas as CASARA London hosted what has become a bi-annual event with zones from Niagara, Ottawa, London and Edenvale. The focus of this exercise has been two-fold. Interoperabilty between CASARA and our other SAR partners including the CCGA, RCAF Local EMS and Fire as well as our amateur radio partners. Secondly, it provided an opportunity for all zones to share best practices and some comaraderie in a non-actual setting. We have seen many of our fellow CASARA members recently however it has usually been on an Actual search. This weekend gave everyone a chance to catch up.
The Northwestern Ontario Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA Thunder Bay) had a role in CHINTHEX 2019 – May 06 -10. For the second consecutive year 435SQN based in Winnipeg, MB held its spring training exercise (CHINTHEX) in Thunder Bay and area. NOASARA members had many unique opportunities to participate in various activities ranging from flying intercepts, spotting from one of many CC130 Hercules, and portraying casualties for the MAJAID. New and returning members alike were impressed with the variety of airborne taskings – spotting during an intercept, assisting a disabled boat, and spotting and assisting in the dropping of nine SARtechs and Rescue Jumpers for the MAJAID. Each event offered some new experiences and provided new and updated skills and tips. Participation in events such as this helps update skills and increase our interagency operability. Regrettably this year NOASARA was the only CASARA unit involved as many of the Prairie and Northern units found the travel time too long.
Also participating in the event were air and support crews from 435SQN (Winnipeg) with 2 CC130, 424SQN (Trenton) with 1 CC130, 439SQN (Bagottville) with a CH-146 Griffon, and from south of the border; USGC Traverse City MI with a JayHawk helicopter, USAF 39 Rescue SQN (Florida) with a C130 and 304 Rescue SQN (Portland Oregon) with para-rescue jumpers. Additional participation came from CF SkyHawks demonstration team, and Ornge.
Working alongside and around all these rescue professionals, many great connections were made and skills improved. This high profile event has also helped with member recruitment. NOASARA looks forward to working with these groups in the future.
From Friday afternoon June 7th to Sunday morning June 9th the Ontario Executive has been busy digesting the past year and planning for the year ahead at the Ivey Spencer Leadership Center in London, Ontario. The business of SAR is very similar to any other corporation. Once a year the zone directors, executive, officers, our OPP liaison and our military gather for two days of intense meetings and collaboration all designed to support our members.
On April 27, 2019 several members from the CARES Niagara Zone based out of St. Catharines maintained a CASARA booth at the “Girls Take Flight” event at the Oshawa Executive Airport. Original plans to also have a static display (C182 – PJO) on the apron had to be cancelled due to inclement weather conditions. The Zone used the opportunity as a SAR Awareness event to raise the profile of CASARA and our role within the SAR community. Also, not unlike the aviation industry in general, female participants are under-represented in CASARA so the occasion was also used to promote our efforts to attract and retain more female members. This event served both goals. Organizers reported just in excess of 1,000 attendees at the event. It is estimated that between 150 and 200 people dropped by the booth to either collect literature on display and/or to ask questions about the organization. It is estimated at least twenty-five people expressed a keen interest in learning more about the organization with the possibility of joining, some of whom were female. At least twenty parents introduced their daughters to SAR. It is also worth noting that our location beside the Canadian Forces Recruiting booth and the Air Cadet Gliding programme also proved useful in drawing attention to the booth and served to highlight the strong association with our military partners. 424 Squadron had a static display (Griffon) on the ramp throughout the day. The Griffon crew, Captain Stef Pouliot and Major Chris Herten, took some time early in the day to drop by and say hello. CASARA members who attended felt the event was certainly time will spent in serving one of our mandates – promoting SAR awareness and the organization in general to all who attended, particularly young women who were considering a career in aviation.
From February 1st to 3rd. Zones from London, Niagara and Edenvale took part in BUSHEX 2019. This was a winter survival training course put on by members of 424 Transport and Rescue Sqn. Trenton and members of 1RCR from the London area. Click here to see the video.
Special thanks to Capt. Marty Zimmer for allowing 424 Sqn. to participate. Sgt. Daryl Jambrich, Canadian Army Lt. Nathan Third and 2Lt. Taso Bujouves for teaching the course, Adam Hill of CASARA London for organizing and CASARA London for hosting the event. Finally, Wayne Harvey of CASARA London for creating the awesome video above.