Career as a Search and Rescue Co-ordinator.

Wanna Be a Search and Rescue Co-ordinator?

Interested in helping people in distress? Are you organized, a good communicator and a planner? Want to work in a career that is demanding yet very rewarding? Then, we may have the job for you!

What do they do?

Search and rescue co-ordinators are responsible for the planning, co-ordination, conduct and control of maritime search and rescue operations. Once the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) is notified that a person(s) or vessel(s) is in distress, the search and rescue co-ordinator organizes the rescue. All available information about the person(s) in danger is gathered and recorded. The co-ordinator seeks out the positions of nearby vessels and other resources capable of providing aid to the search and rescue effort. Search and rescue co-ordinators are trained to evaluate various situations and send the most effective resources to deal with any incident.

The job of a search and rescue co-ordinator entails much investigation, organization and complex and creative approaches to coordinate successful SAR operations.

How do I become a Search and Rescue Co-ordinator?

To become a search and rescue co-ordinator you must first become a maritime navigation officer. You must complete a Sea Going Certificate that can be completed at the Marine Institute in St. John's, NL, or the Canadian Coast Guard College in Sydney, Nova Scotia or another accredited university or college.

As a navigation officer, you gain valuable experience in seagoing operations and that is imperative to becoming a search and rescue co-ordinator. CCG does not solely hire for the search and rescue co-ordinator position; officers are chosen depending on their training and experience. After being selected for this demanding job, you must then go through the on-the-job training at the Rescue Coordination Center where you will gain valuable knowledge and insight in dealing with the pressures of the job.

Combine the on-the job training with mandatory courses in search and rescue co-ordination such as Maritime Search Planning (MSP) and Search and Rescue Mobile Facilitators or On-Scene Coordinator course (SMF-OFC) and, that will assist in preparing you to perform the duties of coordinating search and rescue operations.

In addition, you will need to complete a valid first aid certificate, a general radio operator certificate, a Marine Emergency Duties Certificate (MED) and security clearance.

Openings for jobs with the CCG are advertised through the Public Service Commission (PSC) website.

Spotlight on... Ward George, Search and Rescue Co-ordinator, Canadian Coast Guard

Ward George is a maritime search and rescue co-ordinator with the Canadian Coast Guard in St. John's, NL. He has held the position for 17 years and thoroughly enjoys his job.

"This job gives me a sense of accomplishment; it is rewarding work and is always a challenge. Each incident is always different which makes the job exciting and never routine. This being said, it is important to understand the importance that this occupation plays in people's day to day lives because we are here to help save lives." Ward explains.


Published By:
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Communications Blanch
P.O. Box 5667
St. John's, NL
A1C 5X1

 © Her Majesty the Queen in
Right of Canada
Catalogue Number: Fs154-7/23-2007 
ISBN: 978-0-662-49859-9