“30 Years of Search and Rescue Adventure”
Written by Randy Klaassen
Niagara local, Shane Barton, was recognized for his 30 years as a search and rescue volunteer. Recently Barton was presented an Ontario Volunteer Service Award, for 30 Years, and lately Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) Niagara awarded him with a 30 Year Wing pin.
Barton’s involvement with search and rescue began in 1979 with a ground organization. It was later at a Hamilton Airshow he learned of CASARA Niagara. When asked, Barton said, “My involvement with CASARA has been diversified, to say the least. I started as a spotter and progressed with learning aviation communications, navigation and safety.” As a member of CASARA Barton has flown as a spotter, served with ground searches, and as a driver for the unit’s mobile command vehicle.
Behind Barton’s many searches he has spent thousands of hours training. “It has been a great adventure serving with CASARA Niagara, where I’ve had opportunity to learn more each year, as technology and skills evolve. I’ve really enjoyed serving with other crew members, and engaging members of the public on enjoying outdoor activities safely.”
While CASARA volunteers are aviation focused, they are also called upon to assist with searching for persons missing on the Lakes, lost hikers, and other situations of people in distress.
CASARA Niagara has headquarters and training facility at Niagara District Airport, operating two aircraft and a mobile command vehicle. As a charitable organization the volunteers depend on donations to maintain their operations. Deemed “An Essential Service,” and using COVID protocols, CASARA volunteers have been actively training for the upcoming spring season.
Receiving his awards, Barton told his crew members, “It’s an honour to receive this 30-year pin, and I hope there is a 50-year pin, because I plan on serving for a long time to come.”
For more information on CASARA Niagara, check the website, http://caresniagara.ca.
Attached photos; credit: Randy Klaassen, CASARA Niagara, Training Officer.