An individual can go missing at anytime, anywhere, regardless of their age, experience or condition. Many folks do not go out expecting to get lost but can very quickly get turned around or
take a wrong path. In New Brunswick, our varied climate and terrain can create scenarios where a lost person’s situation can very quickly turn grave as they are usually unprepared.
Once an individual is reported missing, time becomes a crucial factor. Every day they are lost, their chances of survival decrease.
This is where YSSR comes into play.
Once activated by the police, YSSR’s search operations begin. Using a variety of search methodologies and tactics, our overhead management directs our search teams out into the field, searching areas where the lost subject has a high probability of being found. Most people who go missing do not do so in the middle of urban areas. It is usually in the dense forests that cover our province. Our members have experienced searches in a vast variety of situations: hiking down through valleys and up mountains, wading in deep swamps, tramping along shorelines, and pushing through thick brush. We can be tasked to search in the most humid days of the summer and in the most frigid nights of the winter. There are few places we search that are not a challenge in some way.
A successful search is much more than simply throwing a large group of people out over an area.The training our team receives helps to prepare our members for a huge variety situations, ensuring that everyone sent out returns safe. Many times this can also involve helping extract a subject if they are injured or unresponsive.
With a lost person, our goal is always the same: Bring them home safely.
As long as there is a reason to continue searching; our members are willing to commit their time, resources, and unique skills to do their best to ensure a successful outcome.
York Sunbury Search & Rescue (YSSR) is 1 of 10 ground search and rescue (SAR) teams in the Province of New Brunswick. YSSR is a charitable organization, and is 100% volunteer based--we do not have any paid positions. We currently have approximately 90 operational members. Our dedicated volunteers participate in ongoing training to obtain and hone skills necessary to respond to searches. Our team is activated by policing agencies, and is available to respond 24/7/365.
Greg Whittier, President
Richard Tully, Vice-President
Wayne MacKay, Secretary
Caroline Paquin, Treasurer
Wayne Mackay, Rep
Shantelle Leslie, Rep
John Leslie, Alternate
Allan Robinson, Alternate
Heather McNeill, Chair
Jamie Young, Chair
Darleen Steeves, Chair
Public Relations Committee
Greg Smith, Chair
Matt Cassidy, Chair
George Derrah, Chair
Hug A Tree
YSSR members receive regular training in a wide variety of fields related to searching and safety. All members are excepted to participate in the majority of training to help prepare them for the situations they may face while out in the field. We also encourage members to develop their teaching and presentation skills to help provide other training oppurtunities to their fellow teammates.
A selection of training offered includes:
The Junior Program is designed for teens aged 16 and 17 and is paving the way to the next generation of Search and Rescue professionals.
Junior members will be able to attend training, meetings and other YSSR activities and events as a full member can but may participate in searches in an administrative or supportive way only. These are very important roles and will allow the junior members to gain much knowledge and understanding of the operations of YSSR. This is a huge asset for when they turn 18 and are able to become full members as they will be more than prepared for active field tasking.
This program will also provide them with excellent team building and leadership skills and is a rewarding way to give back to the community. The aim of this program is to recruit more members and as a good way to see the new generation of searchers getting involved and training early. Starting at a young age today will lead to more experienced searchers tomorrow.
As a 100% charitable organization, YSSR relies heavily on the generous support and contributions by those in our community. We are always looking for indviduals, businesses and oranizations that are interested in helping us with our funding needs.
Every spring, YSSR hosts its annual Sugarbush fundraiser at Kings Landing Historical Settlement. This event, spread out over two weekends in March, provides the majority of our team's operating funding. For over 25 years, thousands of people have come out yearly to support YSSR and ensure that we can continue to help those in need.
Throughout the year, members also aids other organizations in Fredericton, including providing traffic marshaling for events such as Harvest Jazz and Blues, the Fredericton Marathon, the
Duncan-Hadley marathon and the Push-For-Your-Tush fundraiser.
We also have members dedicated to the Fundraising Membership. This branch of the organisation designed for those who want to volunteer with YSSR and may not be able to commit to the amount of training and meetings, or may not be able to be on call 24/7/365. It is also for those who enjoy fundraising and share the same passion for search and rescue, though may not necessarily enjoy going in the woods and participate in the more physically demanding side of volunteering with our team.
The main aim of these members will be to assist with our current schedule of fundraising events as well as to find new and exciting ways to generate funds, working alongside the Chair of Fundraising (Kathy Morgan) and the committee. You don't need to have experience , all we ask for is your enthusiasm and a desire to help make a change for the better for this dedicated team.
YSSR would like to thank some of the following companies and organizations for their support: