National Search and Rescue Program

National Search And Rescue Program

National Search and Rescue Program

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The National Search and Rescue Program (NSP) is the name given by the Government of Canada to the collective search and rescue (SAR) activities in Canada. The NSP is administered by the National Search and Rescue Secretariat (NSS) and it provides for the coordination of public policy for the provision of SAR services.

The primary goal of the NSP is to save lives at risk throughout Canada. This national program involves federal departments, volunteers, organizations, municipalities, provinces and territories, working together to provide this service.

Organizational structure

The Lead Minister for Search and Rescue (LMSAR) in the Government of Canada is the Minister of National Defence. Responsibilities are broken down within the federal government as follows:

  • The Department of National Defence is the lead ministry responsible for providing and coordinating SAR response for incidents involving aircraft, and incidents involving vessels in federal or international waters. This is accomplished through the air force, which operates 3 Joint Rescue Coordination Centres (JRCCs) as well as various dedicated SAR squadrons of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

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