P.E.I. Ground Search and Rescue will be testing out its new mountain bike team this weekend.
GSAR has been training eight of its members on techniques for using mountain bikes in searches for two years. Training officer Sue Rodgers said the bikes allow searchers to cover a lot of ground quickly, especially important in early stages of searches.
"Often that speed is what saves lives," said Rodgers.
"When you search, you need to be very quiet. So having a non-motorized vehicle covering more ground is going to give us an option to continue searching while kind of covering a lot of space in a quick amount of time."
When a person is found, people on mountain bikes will be able to get to the location more quickly to help with first aid and getting the person out.
The exercise in Strathgartney will not only test out how the bike team does, but also how the control and command centre works with them.
Bikes are common feature on search and rescue teams around Canada. Over the two years of training, P.E.I. developed techniques that are particular to the terrain on the Island, said Rodgers.
The park will remain open during the exercise. It is part of the exercise that other people may be around during a search, said Rodgers. There will be signage to indicate to the public that an exercise is underway.