Image result for Hug a tree SARVAC Image result for Hug a tree SARVAC


Hug-a-Tree and Survive is an AdventureSmart program that helps lost children survive in the woods. This presentation is aimed at children in Grades K-5. It teaches children how not to become lost in the woods, and what to do if they should become lost.

Originally developed in the United States following the search for Jimmy Beveridge in 1981, Hug-a-Tree and Survive was adapted for Canadian use by the RCMP. Using a short (17 minute) video and/or other demonstrations and games, AdventureSmart presenters share their knowledge of valuable outdoor survival and life lessons. There are four simple rules that are core to Hug-a-Tree presentations:

  • Tell an adult where you are going.
  • If you are lost, “Hug-A-Tree” and stay put.
  • Keep warm and dry.
  • Help searchers find you by answering their calls.
PRSAR would be happy to present this program to any groups that would be interested.  For more information or to set up a program in your area please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated (Wednesday, 22 June 2016 23:37)


We’ve all seen the Hollywoodized Ground Search and Rescue on TV and Movies the involves hanging from helicopters and off the side mountains by paid professionals with all the high tech gadgets you could imagine, but what is it in real life?

In Canada and specifically in Alberta outside of the National Parks and Kananaskis Country Ground Search and Rescue is primarily performed by a relatively small group of trained volunteers who are members of the approximately 40 teams across the province. Each team is a not for profit organization that belongs to Search and Rescue Alberta and has a signed Agreement with the Office of the Fire Commissioner that enables them to provide ground search and rescue services within the province of Alberta.

All team members before being used as searchers must have completed a Search and Rescue Fundamentals course that is provided free of charge through either their local team or a neighbouring team. This course covers the basics of Search and Rescue including Search Techniques, Navigation, Rescue, and Survival skills.

After completing the SAR Fundamentals course individuals can move on to specialities including Man Tracking, Technical Rescue, Water Rescue, Search Management if they desire. Again most training is either free or heavily subsidized by the groups through donations or grants.   

Most groups are entirely funded through donations. There is no government budget for funding the day to day operations of the search groups in Alberta. Each year the provincial government provides a training grant that groups can apply for, but this doesn’t cover equipment, additional training, equipment storage etc. All groups welcome donations of equipment, money, or time in order to keep the groups operational.  

So how do we get deployed?

Missing person searches in the province of Alberta are the responsibility of the RCMP or Municipal Police Force of jurisdiction. When they get a report of a missing person they use their own internal risk assessment process to determine if they require assistance from Search and Rescue. As part of this process they often contact one of the local Search Managers to help determine the required response. Once it’s decided that the SAR team is required the Police deploy the team. Teams can not self deploy.

How soon should the police be called?

Immediately, search is an emergency, the sooner that the call is made the sooner resources are deployed to look for the missing person. Every hour that the call is delayed the probability of finding the subject quickly decreases. We would rather get a call and be stood down before we get on scene that the person has being located then to come in a day or two later when a lot of the evidence and clues we use to find the person has degraded or disappeared.               

Search and Rescue groups also provide what is called preventive Search and Rescue services including the Adventure Smart program for kids which is based on the Hug-A-Tree program that teaches kids what to do if they get lost. These programs are sponsored by the RCMP and the Search and Rescue Volunteers Association of Canada, allowing them to be presented free of charge.

Peace Regional Search and Rescue is currently looking for Volunteers who are interested in the well-being of others. Our nonprofit volunteer organization has been active since 1994 and has helped many people over the years. Training is provided and there are many positions to be filled, such as:

- Basic Searchers

- Logistics support staff

- Preventative Search and Rescue presenters

Our team is compiled of people from all walks of life with various abilities that add to the diversity needed for our missions. You don’t need to jump out of helicopters or climb mountains to join; all we ask is a willingness to help others and dedication to the team.

Our main group meets in the Peace River Area every First and Third Wednesday of every month and recently we’ve started a High Prairie Chapter that will be meeting the Second and Fourth Wednesday of every month.

Meeting locations vary depending on the training being done that session. Like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @PR_SAR for locations.

If this sounds interesting to you, or you would like more information on the Adventure Smart Program, please contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or check out our webpage at



Looking for an Interesting and Fun Volunteer Experience?


Last Updated (Monday, 03 November 2014 14:06)


June 4 2014 Training

Tonights practice was out at Lac Cardinal at the Queen Elizabeth Provincial Park.

We got a tour of the Fish and Wildlife boat that is based there. This could be a valuable resource to the next time we are doing a search on the Peace River. This boat is capable of carrying 2 quads and unloading on the river bank with it's front loading ramp.

 june 6 14 fw1

Afterwards, we did a little man tracking practice. The light rain made for some good teaching opportunities.

june 6 14 training


Last Updated (Wednesday, 04 June 2014 21:57)


Adventure Smart - Hug-A-Tree

Peace Regional Search and Rescue in partnership with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and AdventureSmart can provide the Hug-A-Tree program to school aged children. 

Hug-a-Tree and Survive is an RCMP search and rescue initiative that helps lost children survive in the woods. This proactive, preventative program originated in San Diego, CA, after a nine-year-old boy became lost and tragically died in the wilderness. 

A core program under the AdventureSmart banner, Hug-a-Tree and Survive teaches children invaluable outdoor survival lessons, including:

  • Always tell an adult where you are going.
  • If you are lost, stay put and “Hug a Tree.”
  • Keep warm and dry.
  • Help searchers find you by answering their calls.

For more information about he program it's self go to AdventureSmart - Kids

If you would like more information on booking a presentation in the Peace River - Fairview - Manning - Falher area, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Thanks to our Sponsors
Peace Regional SAR would like to thank our Sponsors for their support.

Member Login
mod_vvisit_counterThis week42
mod_vvisit_counterThis month185
mod_vvisit_counterTotal Visits50541
Alberta Emergency Alerts
Increase your website traffic with