In conjunction with an international convention of fire chiefs being held in Toronto, four stamps will be issued on September 23, 1991 to draw public focus on four Canada's Dangerous Public Service Occupations: fire-fighting; police; search and rescue; and the ski patrol. Given the large land mass of this country and its lengthy sea coasts, search and rescue has played an important role in the survival of countless thousands of people. As early as 1798, the Government of Nova Scotia established a rescue station with a lifeboat in Sable Island, long known as "The Graveyard of the Atlantic" for its numerous shipwrecks. Numerous organizations are involved in search and rescue including volunteer groups: police forces; Parks Canada; the Armed Forces; the Department of Fisheries and Oceans; and the Canadian Coast Guard to name a few. Training for this professions is amongst the most rigorous. This can involve up to two years in parachuting, scuba diving, mountain climbing and advanced first aid. This knowledge is combined with the technology necessary to pinpoint distress signals from all types of crafts in trouble.
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