Community donates to Grimsby search and rescue efforts

·2 min read

Donations from three donors will help equip volunteers from the Grimsby Auxiliary Marine Rescue Unit (GAMRU) South Shore Search And Rescue with technical and safety equipment ahead of the 2021 boating season.

New helmets, medical equipment bags, life jackets and other safety equipment, including infrared night-vision imaging systems, have come from two private-sector organizations and the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, volunteer leader Bob Gordon has announced.

The South Shore Search And Rescue volunteers have just come off a record-breaking year for marine rescues in 2020 and are expecting another busy boating season.

The volunteers will have their first forward-looking infrared imaging system thanks to a donation from the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary — Central and Arctic (CCGA/C&A). The camera and imaging system will help volunteers detect hard-to-see targets based on their heat signature.

The system would be used for locating people in the water at night, in bad weather or at times of restricted visibility. The new technology, which integrates with the navigation system used by crews, expands the efficiency of the searchers in critical situations.

The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation of Canada provided 15 life jackets and a grant for other equipment that will also go into service this year, Gordon said. The equipment includes marine radio direction-finding technology. This is also the second grant of its kind from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation of Canada.

Bertie & Clinton Mutual (BCM) Insurance Co. provided a grant that will pay for medical and search-and-rescue equipment, including strobe lights, throw bags, oxygen transport bags, a scoop stretcher, blankets and mask resuscitators.

BCM Insurance supported community safety in 2020 as well with the donation of cold-weather floater suits for the volunteers.

“Three absolutely vital donations, from three very different but very supportive organizations, will make an immediate and profound difference in how we help boaters this year and in years to come,” said Gordon.

“It’s particularly gratifying that, in the midst of such a difficult year on land, that respected organizations like CCGA/C&A, Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation of Canada and BCM Insurance are still looking out for our communities on the water,” Gordon said.

The CCGA/C&A is the regional arm of the national Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary. The CCGA is the national umbrella organization for volunteer marine rescue units. It sets the standards for training, equipment and readiness, and is the liaison to the Canadian Coast Guard.

The CCGA also funds certain aspects of training and manages the federal government funds that pay units a per-hour fee while on approved rescue missions. The CCGA/C&A donation also provided funds for new helmets for volunteers and specialty medical equipment transport bags.

Moosa Imran, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News