Search and rescue are the activities that respond to lost, missing, overdue, stranded or in-distress persons. Search and rescue operations are commonly associated with outdoor activities and “wilderness” environments as Alberta is home to 661,848 km2 of vast terrain from flat plains to dense brush and Rocky Mountains. However, search and rescue missions can happen anywhere and in any environment. Urban areas may become isolated and without emergency services during disasters and emergencies. Individuals can get lost or go missing in urban areas as a result of mental health issues, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, or large community events.
The province has also experienced 7/10 of the costliest disasters in Canadian history. Today, search and rescue also play a vital role in disaster and emergency response alongside fire service, law enforcement, and EMS. Search and rescue programs, equipment, and personnel vary geographically in accordance with local needs, available resources, and identified risks and hazards. Search and rescue operations benefit local emergency management programs as the diverse expertise of search and rescue teams and their force multiplying capabilities increase a local authority’s all hazards readiness and response capabilities.
Our commitment to public safety covers both those who are lost, missing and in-distress and extraordinary incidents. To meet the diverse needs of the province, our 33 teams are spread across the province and ready to deploy at a moments notice.