LAKEVIEW: The legacy of the late Carmen Eisan will continue to live on at Halifax Search and Rescue (HSAR) in the form of a new piece of equipment to help the volunteer searchers be more effective.

Under blue sunny skies outside their headquarters on Lakeview Road in Lakeview on Nov. 2, GSAR officially welcomed “Rescue One”, or as the plate on the front of it aptly indicated “Carmen” to their fleet. The welcoming of the vehicle was part of an open house celebration the organization held. Eisan willed funds to the fundraising efforts of the new $150,000 apparatus.

“Our research shows that there is an upward trend in remote rescues,” said HSAR Chief Director Kara Baisley. “Rolling the large logistics trucks to a remote rescue is unwarranted and cost effective. The evolution of the calls means we can deploy a small manoeuvrable vehicle with fewer searchers involved.”

HSAR Chief Director Kara Baisley speaks during the unveiling celebration of Rescue One at the organization’s headquarters in Lakeview. (Healey photo)

The truck was designed specifically to aid in the number of remote rescue calls that come in to dispatch for HSAR.

“Rescue One is completely funded by the hard work of our members, the generosity of our communities and the great partnerships we have with our fundraisers.”

Two of the largest fundraisers for the organization were the Eco-Endurance challenge in Goffs area and Haunted Hollow, said Baisley.

“Those two events brought in the capital funds that went towards the new truck’s purchase,” she said to the crowd.

Before the celebration got into speeches from special dignitaries, Rescue One was smudged in during a special ceremony by local Mi’kmaq representatives who were on hand. They also sang.

Halifax Fires Corey Beals and SAR volunteer Brian Steele stand next to Rescue One. (Healey photo)

Eisan’s donation allowed the group to go from a standard pickup truck to the Remote Rescue truck they unveiled. She had volunteered with both East Hants GSAR and Halifax SAR.

“She remains a supporter even after she has past,” said Baisley.

A gift from 100 Women Who Care Halifax allows them to fully equip it with specially designed remote rescue first aid gear and hypothermia packs.

“All of the equipment required is fully air transportable meaning we can get to people by land, air, or water in the fastest manner possible,” said Baisley.

Halifax District RCMP S/Sgt. Dwayne Kelly spoke to the crowd of close to 100 at Halifax Search and Rescue in Lakeview on Nov. 2. S/Sgt. Kelly was among the special guests at the welcome celebration of Rescue One to the fleet of vehicles the non-profit organization has at its disposal to use when called upon. (Healey photo)

Halifax District RCMP S/Sgt Dwayne Kelly said the day wasn’t about the vehicle, but the symbolism that Rescue One represents—the thousands of hours that GSAR in N.S. and HRM gives to the community.

“I’ve seen first hand through various opportunities that the 160 members of Halifax Search and Rescue bring to the safety of Nova Scotians and that of those in HRM,” said S/Sgt. Kelly. “I’m deeply thankful for the hours they put in.

Members of Eisan’s family were on-hand at the presentation.

“It’s pretty cool, it really is,” Carmen’s brother, Andrew Eisan, told CTV Atlantic. “I had a heads up that it was coming, but it’s kind of cool to see, and it gets me a little teary every time I see it.”

HRP Police Chief Dan Kinsella (Healey photo)
Sackville Councillor Paul Russell gets an overview of what is stored in the abck of Rescue One following the unveiling at Halifax Search and Rescue in Lakeview on Nov. 2. (Healey photo)