NORTH HURON – The Huron and Area Search and Rescue (HASAR) asked North Huron council if they could use one of the vacant municipal buildings in Blyth as a home base for their equipment, vehicles, and training, as they have outgrown their current locations.
The organization is currently renting space in Huron East, HASAR commander and co-founder Patrick Armstrong said in a letter to council.
The letter said that the current arrangement with the Municipality of Huron East, which costs them $100 a month, is in three different locations: an outdoor compound with limited access to a garage, plus office space. HASAR is hoping to centralize everything in one indoor place.
“While we are thankful and most appreciative of this arrangement, HASAR has outgrown the original agreement and requires indoor storage for its vehicles, as well as all of its assets in one place,” the letter said.
The group proposes that they work with the Township of North Huron to utilize either the former Blyth Public Works building or the “retired fire hall building” to store HASAR vehicles, conduct training, and have an office.
“We would ensure the facility was both clean and secure and work within the community to maintain the positive relationship we have always had,” Armstrong said.
The letter mentioned that North Huron Deputy Fire Chief, Chad Kregar is supportive of the request and has plans to have the Fire Department conduct training with HASAR.
HASAR is a registered, not-for-profit organization created in 2018.
They provide professional, civilian volunteer ground-based and marine search and rescue and operate under Ontario Search and Rescue Volunteer Association and the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.
The letter said that since 2018, the group has been called out four times, to assist police with searches.
North Huron Clerk Carson Lamb said council should not make any decisions on this and that this letter should be forwarded to the Director of Public Works, Jamie McCarthy, to be included in a follow-up report about the former Blyth Public Works property, that she is currently working on.
The request will be considered, along with any prospective buyers interested in the purchase, when McCarthy presents the report.
Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times