BAYSAR is an all civilian volunteer organization based in North Bay that is a part of Canada’s nation-wide structure of search and rescue units. We are partially funded through the Department of National Defence and Transport Canada and maintain very high standards of training and readiness. BAYSAR is on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for both air and ground searches as requested by local and provincial police forces and the military Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC). Our volunteer ground search teams and aircrew members are well-trained, motivated and certified to Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) standards. Every 18 months we must pass an in-depth and demanding evaluation involving both ground and air emergency scenarios conducted by CASARA Ontario personnel and Canadian Forces Liaison Officers from 424 Search and Rescue Squadron in Trenton, Ontario.
In the 20 years that BAYSAR has been in operation, its volunteers have been involved in dozens of air and ground searches in the North Bay and surrounding areas and has earned many accolades from police forces and the Canadian military. Air searches have involved our members flying aboard Canadian Air Force SAR C-130 Hercules and Griffon helicopters and our own civilian aircraft, a retired US Air Force Cessna O-2A, a Cessna 182 and a Cessna-172, in wide-ranging operations that have taken us as far west as Thunder Bay, east to North Eastern Quebec, south to the outskirts of Toronto and north to James Bay.