Member Moments: The London Search and Rescue Team

Organization/Business: The London Search and Rescue Team

We are a team of 65 volunteers trained in Search and Rescue techniques. We have a memorandum of understanding with the London Police Services, OPP and several other local police services and are the only ground search and rescue team located within 100km of London, ON. There is a demonstrated need for a volunteer search and rescue team in London, ON. The citizens we search for are often physically or mentally vulnerable and their life or well-being is in jeopardy. The purpose of our team, to search for vulnerable persons, improves the lives in our Community.

What do you want people to know about how you or your organization is creating change in our community?

London Search and Rescue is unconditional in our purpose and our love for our community – we will search for anyone the police asks us to search for, in any weather, at any time of the day or night, and we will travel hours outside of London when requested. We are endlessly dedicated to the well-being of the public, and members commit to training twice monthly to ensure our skills are maintained, and we leave our families whenever a call for help comes in.

What are you working on that you would like to share with the community?

The London Search and Rescue team is excited to announce that we have received designation as a Registered Charity. The application timeframe took approximately 18 months to complete. Our success in this application was boosted with the support of Janelle Coultes who was the primary contact with CRA throughout the application process. Janelle has been a searcher on our team since 2007 and holds two additional volunteer positions: President of the Ontario Search and Rescue Volunteer Association (OSARVA) and President of the Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada (SARVAC).

As our team receives no funding from any level of government, we rely on donations to fund basic operating costs like our equipment insurance, cell phone bills, and uniform purchases. Becoming a registered charity was a goal as it allows us to have more funding opportunities available to us, and allows us to write tax receipts for donations.

Recently, on the strength of our new charity status, we registered with Canada Helps in order to help fund our operations as well as Benevity.

Please share with us why you are a Pillar Nonprofit Network Member. What have you gained from being a Pillar Member?

From 2003-2020 the London Search and Rescue team was a branch of another organization in London. However, when that organization made a change due to Covid-19 financial pressures, London Search and Rescue was thrust into becoming our own non-profit organization. Pillar took us under their wing and provided amazing guidance and resources so we could succeed as an independent non-profit. Without the support of Pillar, our organization would not be as strong as it is today.

Contact Name: Jamie Walls
Contact Email:

Member Moments highlights our members, sharing stories about what's going on in our community. Does your organization want to be included? Complete this form!

Article type: 
Blog entry
News Topic: 
Member Moments

Whether you're looking for volunteer opportunities,
networking events or a job in the nonprofit sector, we can help.