Bob Moore became a volunteer with Civil Air Search And Rescue Association (CASARA) Niagara to save lives.
While training as a ground homing specialist (GHS), Moore spent considerable time traveling with the unit’s mobile command vehicle. Learning the vehicle’s long history, and its role in search and rescue as a communications platform, Moore combined his volunteering with his career as service responder with Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) Niagara.
More recently approached CAA Niagara’s President and CEO, Peter Van Hezewyk to request a donation of CAA membership for the CASARA vehicle.
In response to CAA’s donation, CASARA Niagara President, Stewart Harris presented Moore with a certificate of recognition. Accompanying Harris was Rick Kaczkan, who is the team leader for the mobile command vehicle. With Moore was Todd Morris, a CAA fleet driver, who has experienced vehicle extractions in his work. Both Moore and Morris know the importance of helping people in distress, and support the volunteers of CASARA.
While CAA focuses on rescuing stranded drivers, CASARA volunteers focus on rescuing stranded aviators, and also respond to searches involving people on the lakes. CASARA is tasked by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) at Canadian Forces Base, Trenton. As with CAA, CASARA is classified as an “essential service.”
CASARA Niagara has found it a challenge to maintain operations of “on-call” status during the pandemic, as all members are required to continue their training and certifications. With anticipation of COVID restrictions being lifted over the summer, they have been informed by JRCC to be ready for a higher-than-normal level of calls. Commitment for searches conducted by CASARA volunteers can range from a couple of hours to several days. In the previous two years, CASARA Niagara was involved in 22 searches, four of which were major, involving several other military and civilian aircraft and ground vehicles.
As a non-profit, charitable organization, CASARA Niagara depends on donations for its vehicle, aircraft and facility at Niagara District Airport. All members volunteer their time, and their personal equipment, spending hours training and responding to call-outs. The contribution from CAA Niagara will provide roadside service for the aging mobile command vehicle.
For more information on CASARA, or to share a tax-deductible donation, see the website www.caresniagara.ca