FAQs

How much does it cost to join?

While there is no cost to join, all applicants must pass an RCMP background check before becoming an operational member of the PEI Ground Search & Rescue team.

How old do I have to be to join?

You must be 18 or older to join PEI GSAR.

How fit do I need to be?

Search and Rescue can be physically demanding. You could be asked to search in difficult terrain while carrying a pack for multiple hours in varying weather conditions.

What kind of time commitment is required?

We ask all PEI GSAR members to participate in meetings, fundraising, and searches. We train 9 months a year. Regular training takes place on one evening per month, and we hold a monthly field exercise. In addition, courses are offered throughout the year that range in length from 4 hours to 3 days.

A search for a lost person is an emergency that can occur 24/7/365. A search tasking usually takes about 4 hours, but if you are available, searches can require 8-12+ hours.

How often is PEI GSAR called out for a search?

A search for a lost person is an emergency that can occur 24/7/365. Callouts can happen at any time of day or night. On average, PEI GSAR receives 6-8 callouts per year.

Am I expected to search alone?

No! When members are ‘tasked’ during a search they are placed into teams of 3 or more based on experience and training. You will never be asked to search alone.

What if I can’t make a search?

If you are unable to make it to a search, that’s no problem. We understand that it is not always possible to leave work, find childcare, etc. Before you consider joining PEI GSAR, please evaluate whether you would be able to attend searches. This is our purpose, and the reason we require a dedicated and trained volunteer base.

Is training mandatory?

We ask all new PEI GSAR members to obtain their “Basic Searcher” training as per the national core competency standards to become an operational member of the team. This requires a commitment of 30-40 hours of training on weekends and during the evening. We also ask all PEI GSAR members to have a valid Standard First Aid certificate. After you are selected to join the team, you will be asked to provide PEI GSAR with a copy of your certificate. If you do not have a valid First Aid certificate, PEI GSAR does offer First Aid training.

Where is the training?

Most training takes place in Charlottetown and other areas across PEI.

How far does PEI GSAR travel for searches?

We are called out for searches all across PEI. At times we may be called to assist in searches within New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Do I need to have a vehicle?

While it is very useful to have a vehicle to get to training and searches, you could get by without one. When we are called out for a search, we typically meet at the PEI GSAR Base in Charlottetown. If you can get to the meeting point via taxi, there would be an opportunity to carpool from there.

Do PEI GSAR members get paid or reimbursed?

PEI GSAR has no paid positions. For actual searches tasked by the RCMP, we may be reimbursed for travel expenses to and from the search site. Our policy is to carpool when possible.

Do I need to buy any equipment?

You must provide your own weather-appropriate clothing and footwear. PEI GSAR provides compasses, radios, and GPS units for training and search teams. We will provide you with a list of items that are good to have in your pack, but many things are not needed immediately, and can be accumulated over time.

Do I need to have internet access and a cell phone?

Most of our communications is done by email, on our web site, or on social media sites. You could get by without internet access, but you would miss out on a lot of what happens with the team. A cell phone is not required but is an asset.