Royal Canadian Air Force

Royal Canadian Air Force

June 21, 2012 14:30 ET

RCAF's Newest Search and Rescue Technicians Graduate at 19 Wing Comox

19 WING COMOX, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 21, 2012) - Under bright orange canopies, the Royal Canadian Air Force's eight newest Search and Rescue Technicians (SAR Techs) parachuted into their graduation parade today at 19 Wing Comox, marking the end of eleven months of intense training.

"Canada's newest Search and Rescue Technicians are already admired for their willingness to go into extreme danger for the safety and security of others," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "From plane crashes to emergencies at sea, Search and Rescue Technicians are ready to respond thanks to the high quality of training provided by Canadian Forces leadership."

The graduates of this year's course have a wide range of previous experience; some were infantry soldiers and some were aircraft technicians, while two had been paramedics in their previous civilian careers.

SAR Tech training is run by the Canadian Forces School of Search and Rescue (CFSSAR), located at CFB Comox, B.C. For those aspiring to become SAR Techs, one must first pass a rigorous pre-selection course before attending CFSSAR. Typically, from approximately 30 hopefuls, only one in three will be selected for the course.

CFSSAR prepares SAR Tech candidates to perform life-saving missions throughout Canada, in some of the harshest weather and environmental conditions. Because SAR Techs must be able to respond to plane crashes or marine emergencies in rugged and remote locations, they need both mental and physical stamina. Whether they are jumping into surf from a helicopter, rappelling down a cliff, parachuting into arctic winds, or scuba diving into dark waters, SAR Techs are known for their ability to reach those in need.

The eight new SAR Techs will soon be posted to various Search and Rescue squadrons across Canada. They join an elite branch of the Canadian Forces dedicated to their motto: "That others may live".

Note to editor/news director:

For further information please contact: Capt Trevor Reid, 19 Wing Public Affairs Officer at 250-339-8201, 250-703-7035 or Trevor.reid2@forces.gc.ca.

For more information on search and rescue operations, please see the following: http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/v2/nr-sp/index-eng.asp?id=11505.

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