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Volunteers needed for local ground search and rescue organization

TRURO - The Colchester Ground Search and Rescue Association has new medical equipment and an emergency medical response team, now it needs more volunteers.

The Colchester Ground Search and Rescue Association’s Wilderness Emergency Response Medical Section (WERMS) consists of volunteers, from left, Amy Hansen, Paul McCallum, Linda Finnie, Tom Fitzpatrick and James Finnie.  More volunteers are being sought to expand the team. Submitted photo 

James Finnie, a volunteer with the group, told the Truro Daily News the association has 40 volunteers, some of them in administrative and support roles. The group wants more people to come forward specifically to assist with woods searches and the Wilderness Emergency Response Medical Section. All volunteers receive proper training.

“We have had about half a dozen calls this year but we are coming up to a busier season, especially with hunting,” said Finnie, an East Mountain resident.

Finnie said the organization now has a wilderness emergency response medical squad and new

“sophisticated” medical equipment, including water and tools to deal with hypothermia and other medical issues. The equipment was made available, he said, through grants, fundraising and with the help of personnel from search and rescue and the medical community.

“We can go deep in the woods and have the ability to carry in medical supplies. We can get to you, keep you alive and get you out,” said Finnie. “We can stay in an overnight situation with you if needed too.”

Finnie admits this type of volunteering can be

“challenging” but is well worth it.

“It’s very rewarding … knowing you are making a difference,” he said, adding there are a few characteristics that would make a person an ideal volunteer.

“If you want to give back to the community, if you want to learn and be part of a team and are very determined you would be great.”

Volunteers can be 16 and older “as long as you are fit and healthy.” Sixteen-year-olds can train but cannot do woods searches until age 18.

For more information or to become a volunteer, email  or

Twitter: tdnMonique




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