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PAGC signs agreement with police, RCMP to work together for search, rescue and recovery
Published Wednesday, March 13, 2019 6:02PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, March 13, 2019 7:03PM CST
The Prince Albert Grand Council has signed a search and rescue Memorandum of Understanding with both the Prince Albert Police Service and the RCMP ‘F’ division – an agreement to share available resources, knowledge, and skill sets when it comes to emergency situations such as search, rescue, and recovery efforts.
“We are ensuring that all available resources are being used, that all available knowledge and skills are being used, and that all efforts are being made to help reunite families with their missing loved ones,” RCMP Assistant Commissioner Mark Fisher said.
Prince Albert Police Chief Jonathan Bergen said his department has already benefitted from PAGC’s assistance in past emergencies, and now this agreement will only improve that working relationship.
A tragedy last May drove home the importance of joint emergency efforts during the search and eventual recovery of the body of four-year-old Sweetgrass Kennedy.
“Their strength in the search effort that we explored was searching water, and bringing just experience but actually special equipment including sonar,” Bergen told CTV News. “It was critical equipment to have in that search, but it’s so much more than [equipment].”
Asst. Commissioner Fisher, the commanding officer from RCMP ‘F’ division said having all 12 chiefs involved from the PAGC will both give them access to invaluable knowledge of the land and the people, but will also help to build relationships between themselves and the communities.
“[The MoU] will allow [PAGC] to be more actively involved in emergencies as they arise,” PAGC Grand Chief Brian Hardlotte said. “And generally provide us with a more formal role in the province’s search and rescue system.”
The agreement is effective immediately.