Summary Recommendations from NCC on Search and Rescue

NCC offered the following summary recommendations to the Public Inquiry Respecting Ground Search and Rescue for Lost and Missing Persons,’ requesting that:

1. The Inquiry acknowledge the unique characteristics of NunatuKavut within the scope of the provincial mandate on GSAR and recommend that the provincial government undertake a full needs analysis within six months, in conjunction with the NCC, designed to formally identify the existing gaps in SAR infrastructure.

2. Based on the formal “needs analysis,” Emergency Services of the provincial government, collaborate with the NCC in creating a long-term NunatuKavut strategic plan for GSAR with special emphasis directed towards shortcomings in current SAR infrastructure.

3. Appropriate police forces and the NLSARA collaborate with NCC in creating additional GSAR volunteer teams in areas of NunatuKavut that are currently without this important organization.

4. Immediate measures be taken to address the serious deficiencies in dedicated surface and air resources for NunatuKavut.

5. Special emphasis be placed on the Goose Bay airport and the DND 444 Air Force Base in facilitating dedicated rotary and fixed-wing air resources in support of SAR for NunatuKavut.  

6. In conjunction with existing aviation companies and outfitters, outreach to the Canadian Air SAR Association (CASARA) be initiated to form a zonal team at the Goose Bay CAF Air Base.

7. Reliable communications networks, such as mobile and overall cellular towers and repeaters, be established in NunatuKavut inland and coastal areas.  

8. In order to address existing gaps in Ground SAR Teams in NunatuKavut and, where trained and competent Canadian Rangers are present in communities along the southern Labrador coast, special measures be implemented to detail and ensure their full utilization during SAR emergencies. Moreover, and where maritime resources are required on a humanitarian basis, a similar arrangement be made to ensure effective and efficient utilization of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (CGA).

9. In the interest of interoperability among SAR stakeholders, proactive measures be undertaken by the multi-jurisdictional Command-and-Control leads to formalize a smooth and informed decision-making matrix regarding available resources to be utilized during SAR emergencies. Furthermore, a formal inventory of available resources such as Department of Fisheries (DFO) Conservation and Protection watercraft vehicles and NCC Guardian watercrafts, as well as others of opportunity, should be journalized for utilization in SAR emergencies.

10. Due to the transient nature of police personnel in NunatuKavut, clarity and communications be required around the role and responsibilities of the RCMP in relation to SAR and that, at all times, RCMP officers be well-trained and have the capacity to lead SAR missions. Furthermore, the RCMP have a clear understanding of the resources that are available to them and that this information is clearly communicated to NCC and NunatuKavut communities.