Trenton Search and Rescue Region

The Trenton Search and Rescue Region (SRR) is an area of more than 10 million square kilometres — the bulk of Canada's land mass, plus Hudson's Bay, James Bay, and the Canadian portions of the Great Lakes and the Arctic Ocean.

From Canadian Armed Forces Base Trenton on the shore of Lake Ontario, the Trenton SRR extends east to Québec City and west to the Alberta–British Columbia border. From south to north, it extends from the Canada–United States border to the North Pole.

The Joint Force Air Component Commander, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is also the commander of the Trenton SRR.

Resources in the Trenton SRR

Trenton Joint Rescue Coordination Centre

The Trenton Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC Trenton), located at CFB Trenton, is the joint Canadian Armed Forces–Canadian Coast Guard centre for search-and-rescue (SAR) monitoring, alerting and emergency response in the Trenton SRR.

JRCC Trenton is responsible for air and maritime SAR response under Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC).

SAR units

The Trenton SRR has the following primary SAR squadrons:

  • 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron from 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario, flying CC-130 Hercules tactical transport aircraft and the CH-146 Griffon helicopters; and
  • 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron from 17 Wing Winnipeg, Manitoba, flying CC-130 Hercules tactical transport aircraft.

To augment the efforts of designated SAR units, any other unit of the Canadian Armed Forces or the Canadian Coast Guard that is available, suitable and capable can be tasked to any SAR mission, or to any incident requiring SAR-type response for humanitarian reasons.

Non-governmental participants in SAR operations

Volunteer organizations such as the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Civil Air SAR Association (CASARA) are important contributors to SAR operations.

Commercial and private vessels and aircraft operating or in transit near the scene of an incident may also be asked to join the SAR effort.

SAR operations

JRCC Trenton responds to about 3,500 SAR calls per year: about 70 percent of the responses are maritime, 20 percent air and 10 percent humanitarian. The busiest time of the year for maritime responses is summer, the season of pleasure boating on the Great Lakes and the lesser waterways of the Trenton SRR. Air responses peak in summer and fall, during the fishing and hunting seasons.

When a SAR mission arises from an incident at sea or in the air, the Trenton SRR commander works through JRCC Trenton to task Canadian Armed Forces and Canadian Coast Guard units and volunteer SAR organizations in the Trenton SRR to deliver the appropriate response.

When a SAR mission must be conducted on land or in the inland waters of the Trenton SRR, except in National Parks, which are federal lands administered by Parks Canada, primary responsibility lies with the government of the province or territory where the incident took place. The province or territory delegates the authority to initiate SAR operations to the police service with jurisdiction — the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in much of the Trenton SRR. The exceptions are: the Province of Quebec, where Sûreté Québec has jurisdiction; the Province of Ontario, where the Ontario Provincial Police have jurisdiction; and various municipalities (cities, regional municipalities and most towns), where municipal police services have jurisdiction.

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