OVERT is a new vision in volunteerism. More closely aligned with the commitment, dedication and professionalism of volunteer fire fighters then with any other program in Ontario. Our vision does not recognize community borders – an OVERT deployment may see volunteers driving hundreds of kilometers, or fly to a different country to assist a community in need.

At the heart of the OVERT program are the volunteers. For the first time, this program brings together varied members of the community and successfully integrates them with significant numbers of police officers, paramedics, fire fighters, military personnel and health care workers. The Emergency Response Volunteers of OVERT form the foundation of every deployment. Without the strong group volunteers currently serving with OVERT, the organization could not exist.

Once a request for assistance is received, OVERT is capable of responding with a diverse set of resources. These resources being the team’s various units.

The best way to address a missing person situation is to prevent it. In the Prevention menu there is some useful links and information on prevention.

Statistics show that each year in across Canada there are approximately 10,000 incidents, mostly marine based. Search and Rescue (SAR) incidents involve all types of outdoor enthusiasts each year, from hiking and skiing to backcountry travelers and boaters.

Always be informed and prepared before you set out. Time spent gaining extra knowledge and in preparation can help reverse the SAR incident trend.

By following three easy steps, AdventureSmart believes that outdoor recreationalists will significantly improve their chances of survival should they become hurt or lost.

Trip Essentials

1. Flashlight, spare batteries and bulb
2. Firemaking kit – waterproof matches/lighter, firestarter/candle
3. Signalling device – whistle or mirror to signal searchers if you become lost
4. Extra food and water – 1 litre/person
5. Extra clothing (rain, wind, water protection and toque)
6. Navigational/ Communication Aids (maps, compass, GPS, charts, cellular phone, satellite phone, hand held radio – fully charged battery) – know how to use them
7. First Aid kit – know how to use it
8. Emergency shelter – orange tarp or large orange garbage bag. These can also be used as signalling devices
9. Pocket knife.
10. Sun protection (glasses, sunscreen, hat)

Happy Hiker
Group of friends on a hiking, camping trip in the mountains

Trip Planning

Complete the Trip Plan for Outdoor Survival Form and leave it with a responsible person prior to an outdoor adventure.
YOUR LIFE MAY DEPEND ON IT! While on your trip, stick to the Plan. In the event that you do not return as stated in your Plan, it will be given to police and search and rescue organizers to help them find you.


Augment your basic outdoor survival knowledge by taking the “Survive Outside – A Guide to Outdoor Safety and the Code of Responsibility” program offered by AdventureSmart. This brief presenter-led classroom program is targeted toward novice outdoor enthusiasts, youth groups, and everyone – young and old – interested in learning introductory outdoor survival practices from highly-experienced SAR volunteers and AdventureSmart team members.

In the Survive Outside program, you will learn about SAR in your region; the Code of Responsibility, including 10 Essentials, Trip Plan, Do’s & Don’ts; and Outdoor Travel Tips. Our seasoned, knowledgeable instructors help you tie everything together with scenarios and analyses of real-life SAR experiences.

For more in-depth articles, tips, and training visit AdventureSmart, a program created by the British Columbia Provincial Emergency Program with the assistance of the National Search and Rescue Secretariat, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the British Columbia SAR Association.