The Ontario Volunteer Emergency Response Team (OVERT) Inc. is an entirely new concept in community participation, education and response to Search and Rescue operations, community emergencies and disasters. Our team has expanded upon our original role as a SAR team, taking from this experience to make our organization more capable of assisting our community during major community emergencies.
OVERT is primarily a ground search and rescue team. Therefore all members of our team are trained in the various ground SAR techniques. These tactics are part of our provincial certification process as a member of the provincial association (OSARVA). Our team has also expanded upon these basic search tactics to provide our SAR managers a number of resources that can be utilized during a search operation.
Our team can be called upon to search both rural and urban environments. Both of these provide unique challenges to successfully locating a missing person. The members commit to regular training throughout the year to ensure that they are able to address any situation that they may encounter.
In addition to the search techniques used in the field the members of OVERT are trained in land navigation, lost subject behaviour, clue location and preservation and communications protocols.
The individual team member must commit to at least 60 hours per year in training in this area. All members must meet this training requirement to stay operational. Also those that work within our speciality units must first meet their main requirements in addition to the additional training.
The commitment to the safety of the members of our community is probably best observed when our GSAR personnel are in the field. They are often deployed to very difficult locations in the worse weather and perform their duties with pride and return to face the same challenges each training day and operation.