Achievements in search and rescue honoured

    VICTORIA, BC, Oct. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - The Lead Minister for Search and
Rescue, the Honourable Peter MacKay, is pleased to announce the recipients of
the 2007 Outstanding Search and Rescue Achievement Award and Certificates of
Achievement. These awards are given annually to honour leaders in the field of
search and rescue across Canada.
    "The tireless efforts of this year's award recipients showcase the
dedication and commitment of Canada's search and rescue community", said
Minister MacKay. "They are a testament to the search and rescue philosophy of
working together so that others may live."
    The Canadian Coast Guard Rescue Specialist Coordinators Working Group is
being awarded the Outstanding Search and Rescue Achievement Award. The group
is being honoured for its unwavering commitment to service delivery, which
resulted in the implementation of the Canadian Coast Guard Rescue Specialist
Program. Today, as a result of the working group's efforts, nearly 500 highly
skilled personnel are ready to react and provide on-site medical care when
responding to incidents.
    Three individuals and one organization are receiving Certificates of
Achievement in recognition of their long-term commitment and contribution to
the field search and rescue. The recipients are:

    - The Canadian Avalanche Association, a group that promotes avalanche
      safety across the country, has established Canada as a leader in
      avalanche accident prevention as well as search and rescue response;

    - Sergeant Patrick J. Egan, a leader in Yukon search and rescue for over
      17 years, established the first Yukon search and rescue team in
      Carcross and has been involved in initiatives to improve search and
      rescue on a national level as well as in the Yukon;

    - Jim McAllister, a Director with the British Columbia Provincial
      Emergency Program, has been a search and rescue volunteer whose
      leadership over the past two decades has revitalized the search and
      rescue network in B.C; and

    - Phil Witfield, a ground search and rescue volunteer with over 20 years
      of service in B.C., is a national and international expert on cave
      rescue who has created training programs and workshops that are
      attended by cavers from all across western North America.

    The awards are being presented on Saturday, October 20th by Géraldine
Underdown, Executive Director of the National Search and Rescue Secretariat,
at a ceremony in Victoria, British Columbia. The ceremony is held in
conjunction with SARSCENE 2007, the annual search and rescue conference
organized by the National Search and Rescue Secretariat.

    The National Search and Rescue Secretariat is a portfolio agency of the
federal government that reports directly to the Lead Minister for Search and
Rescue, the Minister of National Defence. Created in 1986, the Secretariat
works with various levels of government, police and emergency services to
manage and improve search and rescue activities throughout Canada.

    For more information, please consult the National Search and Rescue
Secretariat website at

For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Stéfanie Power, National Search
and Rescue Secretariat, (613) 862-2058,

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National Search and Rescue Secretariat

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