Cutting-edge technology to help volunteer search and rescue team in Huron County

"I can hear you crystal clear," says Patrick Armstrong, as he demonstrates a new rope rescue communication tool, now a part of the Huron and Area Search and Rescue (HASAR) team's arsenal.

“This is a big win for HASAR and the people of Huron, Perth, Lambton and southern Bruce County. It helps us to provide an invaluable service to the people, and we’re very appreciative of this donation here today,” says HASAR’s Spencer Whitelaw.

Special Electronics and Designs in Kincardine has created a way for rescuers to communicate with each other through their rescue equipment without having to carry a radio, extra cables or wires.

“So what we’ve done is we’ve combined the rope with the communication line. That means when someone goes down on a high angle rescue and they’ve got to lower them down into the area, you’re not trying to manage wires at the same time,” says Special Electronics and Designs President Rolf Eberl.

Eberl says the Rescom modular communication system inside the rescue rope allows for hands-free communication and better coverage than a typical radio.

“As soon as that person goes into a tunnel, behind a building, behind a steel wall, you can’t guarantee communications with a radio, so you give them wires. Yes it’s old technology, but it does the job other systems simply can’t do,” he says.

The donation of the headsets, communication equipment and 300 feet of 'talking' rope means the world to the volunteer search and rescue team, soon to be Huron County’s only trained high-angle rescue team.

“It’s not something we have here in the Huron County area. It’s sort of an untapped rescue territory. When you think about it, it’s super important to have. The risk is very high to the folks in Huron County with all our windmills and silos, everything. It’s an important piece of rescue equipment to have at our disposal,” says Whitelaw.