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Digby Ground Search and Rescue gets new equipment

The Digby Ground Search and Rescue received funding to buy water-resistant boots, to keep them dry during training and searches.
The Digby Ground Search and Rescue received funding to buy water-resistant boots, to keep them dry during training and searches. - Amanda Doucette

DIGBY, NS- Larry Brooks is thrilled to be able to provide Digby Ground Search and Rescue with new water-resistant boots, to help teams stay dry during training and searches.

“I want the best quality of gear for the people out there because they’re out there in some pretty rough conditions,” said Brooks, the president and search manager for the Digby organization.

Digby Ground Search and Rescue applied for assistance from the Nova Scotia emergency services provider fund. They were granted $5597 for the boots, covering 75 per cent of the costs.

“Any money we can get for new equipment makes the job easier on us.”

The boots were necessary because when teams are out searching for people they need waterproof equipment to be able to stay dry. This extends the amount of time teams are able to continue searching for, he said.

“When you go out and find a missing person and connect them back with their family. That makes this all worth-while, no matter the conditions or the time spent out there.”

The boots were presented to GSAR members on March 12.

Digby-Clare MLA Gordon Wilson attended the presentation.

“I just want to say a big thank you for all the hard work you all do, from the bottom of my heart I truly appreciate your work,” Wilson said to members of GSAR.

He hopes the boots allow members to continue doing a great job at the work they do.

“You guys are always there, no matter what you show up and I sincerely thank you for that.”

The boots are Mammoth hiking boots from Mountain Equipment Coop. All pairs come with a gaiter. A gaiter is an extended part of the boot, users can attach to keep their pant legs dry from rain, mud or snow and keep them safe from ticks.

“For anyone who does hill walking or hiking, these are the boots to wear,” said Stuart MacDonald, GSAR training officer and team leader.

Each pair including the gaiter was close to $300.

“Not everyone can afford to get expensive equipment like this, so it’s really great to be able to get the funds and provide our teams with it ourselves.”

The boots were the first step, but GSAR has a long list of equipment they still need, MacDonald said.

“We do some fundraising and get a bit of help from the province. But it’s not a lot and to be able to work to our full potential we do need more help.”

GSAR needs new waterproof jackets and pants, shirts with GSAR logos so the public will know when they are present, new computer equipment and GPS systems for tracking during searches.

Digby GSAR has between 25-30 volunteers, depending on the season.

Want to volunteer with Ground Search and Rescue?

  • They need anywhere from 10-20 more volunteers.
  • Should be in reasonable shape. Fit enough to help during searches.
  • Computer savvy people in demand, for assistance with search equipment and computers
  • Teams work closely with other regions like Clare, the Valley and sometimes the province.

Digby Ground Search and Rescue is located at the Digby Municipal Airport, interested applicants can inquire there.

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