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Treaty 4 tribal councils band together for search and rescue course

The File Hills Qu'Appelle Tribal Council held its first search and rescue training course to provide members with essential skills and tools during an emergency. Photo courtesy: FHQTC

The File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council (FHQTC) completed a search and rescue course to train community members in the Treaty 4 territory on gaining the necessary skills when an emergency arises.

The FHQTC chapter held a week-long course in Fort Qu’Appelle where 13 participants from the Yorkton Tribal Council, the Touchwood Agency Tribal Council and the Prince Albert Grand Council took part.

The FHQTC fire service co-ordinator said this training is important to have for people to be certified and be ready at any time to give a helping help when it’s needed.

“This past week … they learn basic skills (like) tracking, searching, looking for clues, our radio operation, team leader basics (and) just stuff to help them when they get called up to a search that they’re ready to go,” said Christian McKay.

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“Everybody that took the course … all passed, and they’re all certified to go and search. If we got a call up, they could all (go).”

The PAGC Search and Rescue Chapter became the province’s first Indigenous chapter. With the FHQTC chapter, they hope to expand the need for search and rescue during emergency crises.

Curtis Delorme took part in the FHQTC Search and Rescue training and said he always wanted to help out in any way he can when someone goes missing.

“We see so many people go missing and not many volunteers (go) out there to help,” said Delorme. “I (am) part of this chapter and be utilized in another way to help not just only FHQ but all our surrounding communities.”

From the search and rescue course, Delorme has learned to be aware of his surroundings and to pay attention to details.

One of the course lessons that stuck out to him was being part of a night search where a practice mannequin was hidden in Fort Qu’Appelle that the participants had to search for. 

“The night training was probably the best thing. Hands-on training is always on my mind,” he said. “The best way to learn (is) not just sitting in a classroom but being out there. I think we all learned some valuable skills from going out at night (as we) searched that night, and it was pretty cold.”

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The FHQTC Search and Rescue chapter hopes to hold more training courses in the future to provide community members in Treaty 4 territory with tools and skills.

Click to play video: 'Search and rescue crews warn fall hikers to be prepared'
Search and rescue crews warn fall hikers to be prepared

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