CJOB's Robert Holland reporting
Search and Rescue Manitoba (SARMAN) is urging Manitobans to reduce the chances of becoming lost.
Local police agencies have responsibility for search and rescue, but can call on SARMAN volunteers if they need to expand their search or want to quickly put a large trained team on the ground.
The Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC) co-ordinates and trains these 450 volunteers from all over Manitoba. They participate in regular training exercises that test their compass, GPS and map-reading skills as well as helicopter safety training in case they need to be airlifted into a search area. In the past few months, SARMAN teams have been called out five times to look for missing people or assist with high profile-rescues
As more and more people get ready to enjoy spring and summer activities, SARMAN recommends the following tips before any outdoor adventures:
* be prepared for anything when travelling outdoors,
* check weather forecasts,
* always travel with a friend,
* complete a trip plan and share it with someone so they know when you'll be back,
* learn to use a compass and map, and
* stay sober.
As well, always travel with safety equipment such as: a flashlight and extra batteries; extra food and water; warm clothing, proper footwear and rain gear; a first-aid kit, sun protection and bug spray; a pocket knife and large orange plastic bag; a whistle and waterproof matches; a tarp; and a signalling device.