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This page was created to provide information for members and interested agencies of the ALBERTA CAVE RESCUE ORGANISATION (ACRO).


TASKING AGENCIES (RCMP, local police, national park wardens, local emergency management agencies)

CAN ACTIVATE ACRO via the STARS Emergency Link Center 403-299-2491, 24 hrs / 7 days per week

THE PUBLIC can request cave rescue assistance by calling 911

See Emergency Initial Reponse

EXERCISE DARK SQUEEZE was a huge success!

On September 16-18, 2011, an interprovincial live rescue exercise coordinated by the Alberta Cave Rescue Organisation and its partners was held southwest of Crowsnest Pass in Gargantua Cave and on the upper flanks of Mt. Ptolemy. Over 110 members from 50 different Alberta and British Columbia organizations including search and rescue, cavers, cave rescue, off road clubs, CANTF2, Crowsnest Pass Rescue, and government agencies including the Alberta Emergency Management Agency, Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, Crowsnest Pass RCMP, Pincher Creek RCMP participated. Incident management, air operations, logistics and technical and non-technical rescue operations for three surface rescue scenarios and two underground cave rescue scenarios were exercised. The rescue base was based at the Blairmore Ranger Station.

The objectives of Exercise Dark Squeeze were to extend the participants' general and specialized SAR skills, show how diverse organizations from multiple jurisdictions can operate together, evaluate how logistics can be supplied and managed on a large, remote rescue, test the rescue pre-plan for the highly popular Gargantua Cave including the surface and underground components and the required capabilities, educate outdoor enthusiasts, including cavers, on Search and Rescue capabilities and limitations and the importance of recreational safety, enhance relationships within the broad Alberta/British Columbia SAR community and with the recreational caving community, and expand the SAR community's expertise in exercise planning.

FOLLOW UP INFO is available.


[edit] What is ACRO?

  • ACRO was formed in 2001 by a group of cavers and search and rescue volunteers to respond to the need for organized cave rescue in the province of Alberta as cave rescue resource requirements exceed the capability within the provincial and federal agency staff having authority and responsibility for public safety. ACRO works closely with these agencies in providing these services.
  • In 2007, ACRO partnered with the British Columbia Cave Rescue organization (est 1984) to share knowledge, resources and information in order to provide cave rescue resources to Western Canada.
  • ACRO also supports and provides technical rescue related training to various ground SAR groups.
  • ACRO re-established itself as a non-profit society under The Societies Act within Alberta on March 15, 2010.
  • ACRO and BCCR are moving towards operating under ONE organizational umbrella called the Alberta British Columbia Cave Rescue Service (ABCCRS)

[edit] We NEED Your Help

ACRO is 100% volunteer driven and as such we are always in need of funds, equipment and services.

For a complete listing of needs, please visit the Needs List

The most urgent need as of March 2011 is SRT Training Kits. We spend a lot of time trying to pull together odds and ends from our personal SRT kits in order to introduce cavers to Single Rope Techniques (SRT) at our workshops. If we had complete adjustable SRT kits that we could "assign" for the duration of the training, it would greatly benefit us. The kits that we need to assemble include an adjustable caving harness, chest Croll, handled Ascender or non-handled, steel semi-circle maillon (or equivalent), adjustable foot loop, adjustable chest harness, helmet, headlamp, two locking carabiners, one non-locking (prefer notchless), and a storage bag

The next most urgent need are funds to offset the costs of booking training facilities for our 2011 Cave Rescue Workshops.

One of our unique needs is engineering services to help us design an equipment testing program and drop tower.

[edit] For Cavers

  • Trip Plan - a record of what you're going to do and means for someone to watch for your return / get help if needed

[edit] For Cave Rescuers

[edit] FEEDBACK and Musings

DARK SQUEEZE Exercise Planning Feedback using TooFast

DARK SQUEEZE Exercise Operational Critique using TooFast

Thoughts and input from active members within the organization. Feel free to review and add your comments!

Take the Cave Rescue Test Survey using TooFast

[edit] Promotions / Awareness

Media Inquiries

ACRO Logo Designs

DRAFT crisis communications plan

[edit] Kudos / Acknowledgements / Thank You's

Thank you to Golder Associates Ltd. and their Community Involvement and Support Program. Thanks to their generous donation ACRO has been able to aquire vertical gear to outfit six volunteers during training and operations.

A BIG thank you to Cindy Heselton for all the hard work, long days and late nights that Cindy has contributed to making things happen for the organization! Without your dedication we would all be in the dark... Wait a minute, guess that saying does not work here! Thanks for everything, we can't wait to have you back upon your return!

Thank you to all of the cavers who are showing a keen interest in ACRO....whether participating in training or just sharing ideas around a campfire.

Thank you to Cara Katterhagen of Halo Marketing & Communication Strategies, in helping ACRO to develop a communications strategy and crisis communications plan.

We would like to thank the Honourable Hector Goudreau, Minister of Municipal Affairs for awarding ACRO a SAR Training Grant for 2011/2012 of approximately $34,000 to support our live exercise program. We look forward to working with as many agencies and SAR groups as possible in delivering a well managed and rewarding program.

Thank you to Tom Sand, Manager of Training, Alberta Emergency Management Agency and his staff for their endless patience and guidance in answering our questions and providing training and exercise planning resources.

We gratefully appreciate the creative talents and hard work from Scotty Lee of LDI Solutions in helping us to come up with a new ACRO logo.

Cindy would like to thank Brett Wuth for all of his work in getting the SAR Alberta Wiki set up and hosted as well as the endless questions about how to do things.

[edit] Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

[edit] WIKI Reference Materials

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