The Search and Rescue Society of British Columbia adheres to the British Columbia Personal Information Protection Act.  The act applies to missing subjects, their families, SAR teams that request our assistance and our donors.

Proudly offering the Project Lifesaver Program since 2008.

Project Lifesaver International Provincial Training Agency for British Columbia and Western Canada Air Training Facility.


Overhead Management Team

For an external request, the Overhead Management team provides analysis and recommendations only. A second opinion, if you will. For an internal response (SARBC is lead agency), the Overhead Management Team is responsible for all aspects of managing the Incident. Everything from interviews to incident command to base camp operations and logistics is covered by the team. The Overhead Management Team does NOT assume the role of Management during an external response request. Seldom does the Overhead Management Team even arrive on scene. We are set up to respond from our Victoria Base using modern communications equipment to direct the data to be analyzed from the field via a BC wide communications system.

Analysis Unit

A specialized team gathers all possible information about a missing subject/s and processes this information using deductive reasoning. The processed information is run through various computer programs and the results are then sent directly to the field search managers. A minimum of five Analysis members are required per operational period not including the trained interviewers and computer operators. All missing person analysis incidents follow an established pre-plan and operational procedures and policies. The Analysis team generally works out of the Victoria office due to the vast resources required but is field ready with modular equipment if required. The Analysis Division uses traditional and non-traditional search analysis procedures to combine all of the available information into a workable search solution/s. The Division exists to give search managers a second opinion.

Special Services Unit

The Special Services Unit is the physical response arm of the Society. The Mission Statement of the Unit is to “provide resources not normally available on a wilderness missing person Incident. In addition to traditional search training, the Team is trained in advanced human detection techniques, confinement systems, underwater search and recovery systems and Project Lifesaver.


SARBC follows the NASAR motto “that others may live” and we believe that every missing person deserves to have every resource possible made available to them. It is not important who finds them, it is only important that they be found. If you would like to volunteer for Search and Rescue, determine which group you would like to volunteer with. This depends on a few things….Where you live – SARBC is located in Greater Victoria. At the minimum, our response personnel are expected to attend weekly continuing education sessions as well as periodic upgrade training, so if you don’t live in the Greater Victoria area this is going to be difficult. If you can’t commit to the attendance requirement due to your location and still want to be a member of the SSU response team, please contact us regarding Specialist positions.
what you are looking for – the groups you see on the news that respond as soon as a person is missing – that is NOT us (except for Project Lifesaver). While we have been on the news a few times, SARBC does its best to avoid appearing in media. The groups that you are usually seeing are the local responding SAR team. Generally these groups are affiliated with Emergency Management BC (EMBC). EMBC is the government agency tasked to ensure ground SAR resources are available for the Police for searches, rescues, disasters, etc. If you are interested in becoming a member of one of these groups, please go to the Emergency Management BC’s web site. Several of their groups are listed. If you can’t find a web page for the group you are looking for then try the National Search and Rescue Secretariat and look under BC. Or call us and we will see if we can locate a number for you.  So why would you choose SARBC’s SSU?  We exist to augment the search effort. Our mandate is to provide specialized resources that are not readily available to SAR teams within the Province. We do not arrive on scene by jumping out of plane or driving at mach 2. We prefer to come in quietly, do our job, then leave just as quietly. Almost as if we weren’t even there. We have no desire to be forefront. When traditional methods have failed, we may be able to assist. We are not wannabe’s, we are comprised of people from all walks of life that believe in what SARBC represents. If you are interested in learning and using advanced technology, are comfortable searching mainly at night, are able to travel anywhere in the Province by land, air or sea and, last but not least, able to work within a structured command environment, then contact us about volunteering with the SSU.



SARBC believes that North Shore Rescue’s quote: “We’re one of the busiest SAR teams in the province and we know nothing about these people[SARBC],” seems dubious at best. There are 2 uniformed SARBC members who were in this picture (second from left and far right) with 3 North Shore Rescue Members (red/orange jackets). This picture …


Project Lifesaver.

With over 3000 rescues and an average elapsed time to locate the missing person under 30 minutes, the statistics speak for themselves. For those with Alzheimers, Dementia, Autism, Downs and other cognitive disorders.

Candle in the Window

Better known as “court of last appeal”. A systematic approach to assist in determining an IPP. Designed for Incidents where a search utilizing traditional methods has not provided resolve.

Lost in the Woods

This Child Survival program is presented to students, cubs, guides, parents and interest groups across North America. It is not a “Hug a Tree” program. It goes into more detail and adds more Rules for Survival. The presentation is about one hour and thirty minutes. The maximum group size is about one hundred and twenty (or whatever the instructor can handle). The film, “Lost in the Woods II” (re-produced by SARBC in 2005), is shown as part of the presentation. Experiments taken from the book, “Lost in the Woods” by Colleen Politano, are done during each session.


Land SAR

  • Active Confinement Systems
  • Unsearched Segment Active Monitoring
  • Airborne Thermal Imaging
  • Land based Thermal Scanning
  • Enhanced Night Sign Detection
  • Field Forensic Techniques
  • Subsurface Imaging: Ground Penetrating RADAR (GPR)
  • Void Detection
  • Human Remains Detection
  • Subsurface Imaging: Ground Penetrating RADAR (GPR)

Pre and Post Search Suspension

  • Differential Sign Analysis
  • Shifting Probability Analysis
  • Subject and Terrain Analysis
  • Customized Behavioural Profile Examination
  • Layered POD Analysis
  • Differential Sign Analysis
  • Subject Situational Analysis
  • POA Justification
  • Red Team Tactical Analysis
  • Analysis to Support Suspension
  • Probability Audit

Underwater Search

  • Done in conjunction with traditional surface and shore SAR techniques.
  • Analysis / Research
  • Wide Area Scanning
  • Potential Target Analysis
  • Narrow Area Scanning (high resolution)
  • Target Confirmation
  • Target recovery
  • Towed Side Scan SONAR
  • Large Area Multiple Fish Towed Metal Detection
  • Dropped Scanning SONAR
  • Towed / Dropped High Resolution Video
  • Submersible Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) with Manipulator and Cutter
  • Ground Penetrating RADAR (frozen surface)

Confined Space

Systems and techniques generally utilized in conjunction with local area SAR and first responders in the first four rescue stages. Search of areas and locations not intended for habitation. Tools utilized by the SSU: SCBA Systems, Toxic and Explosive gas detection, Ventalation equipment, Ultra-Wideband RADAR (life detection)

Structural Collapse

Systems and techniques generally utilized in conjunction with local area SAR and first responders in the first four rescue stages. Phases; size up, hazard mitigation, planning, primary (wide area) search, narrow area search, subsurface search, subject location. Structural Stabilization to enable searching Trapped person location Systems utilized by the SSU: Acoustic detectors, Void detector, Thermal scanning, Thermal imaging, Ultra-Wideband RADAR (life detection), Ground Penetrating RADAR (GPR), Video (snake, probe, drop), Geophone active monitoring, Drop microphones (2 way)


Contact SARBC

SSU Operations Resource Assistance

BC Wide 24 hour:  1-800-663-6106
Greater Victoria 24 hour: 250-383-1011

Greater Victoria Project Lifesaver Response

Greater Victoria 24 hour: 250-383-1011

SARBC Society

Society and General Information: 250-384-6696

Office and Mailing Address

23 Burnside Rd West
Victoria, BC
V9A 6Z7 Canada


General Inbox: sarbc@sarbc.org
Or use our contact form.