By Cole Parkinson
As the list of skills continues to grow for the Municipal District of Taber community peace officers, soon they’ll be adding even more training to their resumes.
In order to prepare for the upcoming summer months, the CPO’s along with other law enforcement agencies in the area including the Taber Police Service and the Taber/Vauxhall RCMP detachment, will be participating in search and rescue training.
“I had a meeting with various search and rescue teams in the immediate area, just to determine our level of cooperation in the event we do have a missing person in our areas especially with the Alberta Summer Games coming up. We have a lot of activities in the area and I’d hate for someone to go missing and us not to be ready for it. The RCMP have jurisdiction as a primary search and rescue agency, I’ve spoken to them about it,” said Kirk Hughes, development and community safety officer.
With the Alberta Summer Games bringing in hundreds of additional people to the community, the benefits of bringing in search and rescue training is a no brainer for the M.D.
Even better for the group is the price the training will be offered at.
“I have managed to convince NEMO Search and Rescue to provide us some training under the Canadian Labour Code for search and rescue for no cost at all. I’m confident I can offer that out to community groups, Taber Police, RCMP and our fire service. It’s regularly about $1,200 a go per person,” added Hughes.
With the training, Hughes stated it would be available for a maximum of 20 participants.
The need to add search and rescue training to their arsenal stems from the fact the closest areas that have this specific training is Medicine Hat and Lethbridge.
Calling in reinforcements from Lethbridge or Medicine Hat can cause severe delays that could potentially be life threatening in some situations.
With their own members being able to get set up while they wait for backup could go a long way in successfully running the mission of finding a missing person.
“Medicine Hat is active, Lethbridge area search and rescue is stepping up their game significantly, they just had elections for their executives. I see them as being the agency, between them and Medicine Hat, that would come and assist us. The primary thing is we have people here that are ready to get in there and get the initial setup started. That way when these extra organizations show up from the RCMP, from Medicine Hat, from Lethbridge, it’s a plug in place system, we’re ready to go and have boots on the ground right away,” said Hughes.
“Can you imagine if you are missing your child in the M.D. Park and Lethbridge Search and Rescue will be an hour or two? That’s a long time.”