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Search and rescue teams practise for real situations

Maritime search and rescue teams met on Prince Edward Island to practise their searching skills in a non-emergency situation.

Teams from across Maritimes take part in fake search for lost teenagers

Maritime search and rescue teams met on Prince Edward Island to practise their searching skills in a non-emergency situation. 

P.E.I. Ground Search and Rescue was joined by teams from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia as well as two fire departments and the RCMP. 

The teams worked on a fabricated scenario of trying to locate a group of lost teenagers by conducting inland and shoreline searches. 

In addition to ensuring they are physically fit to take part in searches, search and rescue volunteers must also be prepared for the outcome, whether it be good or bad. 

"A lot of different things go through your head when you're out on searches. You always wanna be hopeful when you're out there, that it's gonna be a good outcome," said Arja Page who has been with the P.E.I. team for six years. 

Team leader George Williams said volunteers are always briefed before they begin a search for a missing person. 

Mental preparation

"Just in case we find someone that's missing, it might not be pretty. That mentally prepares our people in case something wrong or bad happens." 

The teams from the three provinces only meet once a year for training and organizers say it offers valuable team building. 

"I think in order to be confident and mentally prepared before a search, working together beforehand works a lot of that out," said Page. 

"You're familiar, you're comfortable. We also learn how to look out for other team members." 

Williams said being a part of a search and rescue team can be fun and challenging. The PEI team has about 90 members and is open to including more volunteers.

"It gives you a sense that you're contributing to society and protecting people." 

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