The Team

Jamie Stirling, President

  • 28 years of search and rescue experience with the Ontario Provincial Police, including 6 years as their Provincial Search and Rescue Coordinator. 
  • Managed some of Canada’s most challenging cases and is recognized as a Canadian Provincial Court expert in mapping and GPS systems.
  • Testifed at corners inquest declared an expert in search and rescue policy.
  • A “Honorary Canadian Ranger” with the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol.
  • Jamie has provided technical assistance to numerous organizations, both provincial and national governments, where his operational knowledge in search and rescue has been instrumental in creating a foundation for search and rescue operations and programs.

Brian Smit, Instructor

  • 36 years experience with the Toronto Police Service attaining the rank of Sergeant.
  • 14 years of urban search experience, including 11 years as a Search Manager for the City of Toronto.
  • Managed and provided technical assistance to numerous urban search events for missing persons and evidence gathering.
  • Basic Search and Public Order Crowd Management Instructor for the Toronto Police Service.
  • Involved in the course creation and teaching of the 2015 Pan Am Games Venue Sweeps.
  • Search Manager of operational search teams responsible for clearing and securing of Pan Am sports stadiums and venues.
  • Past member and Chair of the Ontario Public Order Advisory Bylaw Committee.
  • Lead Public Order planner for the Toronto G20 Summit in 2010.
  • Certified as an Unmanned Air System (UAS) pilot for Toronto Police Service.
  • Incident Command System (ICS) Level 300 accreditation.

Dave Bell, Instructor

  • 20 years of experience in search and rescue.
  • 8 years as a search manager, including 5 years as a canine handler.
  • 30-year law enforcement career also included 12 years of teaching Basic Search to police officers and military personnel.

Alain Croteau, Instructor

  • 30 years experience with the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) and serves as their SAR Coordinator with a Bachelor of Education, Geomatics and Policing Degrees and is a fluid speaker in French and English.
  • Joined the SQ’s top specialists in Search and Rescue, and is an expert witness in GPS usage, designed and taught various types of SAR training to police and volunteer SAR agencies in Quebec.
  • Also part of the technical committee that wrote the Canadian SAR standard (Ground Searcher, Team Leader, Search Manager) CSA Z1620-15.

Grant Ayers, Instructor

  • Retired Ontario Provincial Police Sergeant after 30 years.
  • An Emergency Response Team member and Team Leader involved in Search and Rescue for 17 years, with 12 as a Search Manager.
  • Majority of Grant's SAR experience was in remote parts of northeastern Ontario where resources are limited and access was a challenge.
  • Involved in many search operations including several along the James Bay coast.
  • He also coordinated the patrols of the James Bay Ice Road in 2011 and was Operations Manager at the Moosonee Detachment in 2012.
  • In 2015 he was the Specialized Field Resource Manager for the security of the Pan Am Games in Toronto and surrounding areas.

Phil Plassot, Instructor

  • 26 years of experience with the Ontario Provincial Police in the field of Search and Rescue.
  • In 2007, he was designated as a Search Manager.
  • In 2012, he became an instructor for First Aid/CPR and AED providing instruction to members of the police.
  • His career in Search and Rescue allowed him to work in northern communities as well as across the province of Ontario.

Quinn Meawasige, Instructor

  • Quinn Meawasige is Anishinaabe from Serpent River First Nation.
  • Graduate from Algoma University with a Bachelor of Arts in Community Economic and Social Development and a Certificate in Anishinaabemowin from ShingwaukKinoomaageGamig.
  • Quinn currently works as the Northeast Community Relations Lead for GaagigeZaagibigaa, an Indigenous Food Sovereignty Initiative servicing Indigenous Peoples in Northern Ontario.
  • Quinn became a founding member of the Waterways Collective, an Anishinaabe paddling collective.
  • He is also a founding member of the Nimkii Youth Collective, an Anishinaabe land-based language and cultural revitalization initiative. 
  • Quinn is an active harvester, fisherman, hunter, gatherer, forager, and outdoor adventure seeker.
  • He is always working to make land and water based learning opportunities accessible for his family, community and peoples. 

Shaun Spence, Instructor

  • Shaun Spence is a volunteer firefighter for the last 20 years for the Peguis First Nation and Deputy Fire Chief for Interlake for 13 years.
  • He also is an (EMR) Emergency Medical responder that works along with Fisher Ambulance Services, also located in Peguis First Nation .

Shawn Gibbons, Instructor

  • Recently retired after 30 years with the Ontario Provincial Police, he has over 20 years operational experience in search and rescue throughout northwestern and southern Ontario.
  • In 2003 he became a designated Search Manager, as well as a certified Project Lifesaver Instructor and Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) operator in 2015.
  • Throughout his career he has had the privilege of instructing students from an array of police forces, the Canadian Rangers, as well as civilian search and rescue groups.