Year 3, Search and Rescue Incident Data Management, SARNIF Project Report

May 17, 2024

The need for national collection and aggregation of ground search and rescue (GSAR) incident data in Canada has never been greater. Having nationally aggregated GSAR incident data is crucial for the GSAR community to properly evaluate the current state of GSAR in Canada. Having a sustainable national data continuum would allow for the identification of areas for improvement, ensure effective response, reduce the loss of life and suffering, as well as reduce the frequency and severity of GSAR incidents.


In the spring of 2021, CanOps initiated a Search and Rescue National Incident File (SAR NIF) project to facilitate the sustainable collection and aggregation of national GSAR (Ground Search and Rescue) incident data. The project aimed to empower the complex national GSAR community by coordinating and working with them. In the first year, a comprehensive environmental scan was conducted to identify the barriers to national GSAR incident data collection. In the second year, a multi-faceted approach was taken to address the issues identified in the first year and find sustainable solutions for data collection and aggregation. During a face-to-face meeting in the second year, it was determined that both the federal government and the GSAR community needed to enhance their situational awareness of GSAR in Canada. As a result, an extension of the project for a Proof-of-Concept was discussed and approved. The third year of the project included the implementation of a Proof of Concept for national GSAR incident data collection, aggregation, and reporting.


The Proof of Concept provided a powerful opportunity for the GSAR community to work together toward a common goal. The purpose of the Proof of Concept was to prove that GSAR incident data could be collected from a cross-section of the GSAR community and that the aggregated data would provide a level of situational awareness regarding GSAR incidents in Canada. The successful Proof of Concept provided data from across the nation, and from a cross-section of GSAR community agencies. The submitting agencies included provincial/territorial governments, police agencies, federal agencies, provincial parks agencies, and volunteer agencies.


2023/2024 Search and Rescue Incident Data Management Project Report

2021-2022 Search and Rescue Incident Data Report