SARVAC Interim Assistant National Prevention Coordinators

The Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada is proud to announce recent changes to the SARVAC/AdventureSmart team including the recruitment of two Interim Assistant National Coordinators in efforts to streamline and strengthen program direction under SARVAC’s Humanitarian Workforce Initiative with Public Safety Canada.

With the development of new initiatives and a continued focus on expanding outreach within Canada, the hiring of multiple Interim Assistant National Coordinators will ensure that we are able to efficiently and effectively manage the SARVAC prevention program.

Barbara Hewitt, SARVAC Assistant National Prevention Coordinator

Barb Hewitt ( will take on the management of the public and outdoor educator online presentations project, in addition to working with our web development team on our eLearning platform, and will oversee the online presentation committee and coordinator workshops.

I was born and raised in Southern Manitoba, and I’ve also lived in St Catharines and London, Ontario, but I always end up back in Manitoba. I currently reside in Winnipeg, which sits on Treaty 1 lands and is the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene Peoples, and the homeland of the Red River Métis.

I have been an avid camper and hiker since I was in my teens, and developed a love of backcountry camping and kayaking in my adult years. In the last few years I’ve added road cycling to my list of regular activities, and joined the fundraising cycling tour community with Habitat for Humanity Manitoba.

I studied nursing at Niagara College, obtained a BA Adv and Master’s degrees in Anthropology from the University of Manitoba, and did my PhD in Archaeological Sciences with a focus on biogeochemistry and forensic anthropology at the University of Western Ontario.
While at Western, I began working with their Forensic Anthropology field team. This four- person team worked with the OPP, regional law enforcement and local SAR units across Southern Ontario to recover found human remains and to search for human remains and evidence related to possible criminal activity.

Upon my return to Winnipeg, I was introduced to Winnipeg Search and Rescue when our coordinator gave a Survive Outside presentations at an outdoor skills workshop, I joined the team shortly thereafter, and have been with them ever since.

I am looking forward to taking on the challenge of coordinating our prevention programs on a national level, and to finding new ways of working with our national and regional partners and coordinators to reduce the frequency, duration and severity of SAR incidents across our country. I am always open to questions or comments, so please feel free to reach out to me any time you have something you’d like to discuss.

Cheers, Barb

Scott Yan, SARVAC Communications Officer & Assistant National Prevention Coordinator

Scott Yan (, who is already working with us as the Communications Officer, will manage the day-to-day inquiries related to training, presentations and outdoor educator support, along with managing our social media platforms, AdventureSmart website, AdventureSmart Trip Plan app and collaborating with our web developer on strategic marketing campaigns. Scott will also assist with the management of the coordinator’s workshop.

Originally an Ottawa transplant, I grew up ski racing out of Québec before coaching that has led to a wide variety of experiences in the outdoor industry with private resort operators, BC Parks and Arc’teryx (as a Business-to-Special Consumer Rep. for SAR members across Canada). Eventually that led me to finding the BC AdventureSmart program as an Outreach Team Member on both BC Interior and Coastal Teams since 2019, where I discovered what it means to work directly with our Search and Rescue volunteers, providing more insight into who they are and the overall selflessness that volunteer first responders offer.

Now grateful to reside on the beautiful traditional territory of the Coast Salish, in the unceded and ancestral lands of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh peoples in Squamish, BC I spend my spare time mountain biking, ski touring across parts of the South Coast and Sea to Sky mountain range, or giving back to my local community as an active volunteer trail-builder and photographer with my local trail association. I graduated from the University of Concordia in Montréal where I studied Video & Film Media and I look forward to sharing my value for connecting communities, through new media as a pairing with a compelling social media, and digital marketing strategy on a national level for SARVAC to reduce the number, severity and duration of Search and Rescue calls. I look forward to my new role and find creative ways to help support our Search and Rescue Volunteers across Canada.

All the best, Scott

Scott Yetman ( will manage requests for AdventureSmart materials and supplies, and will also provide logistical support for outreach and training.

We would like to reiterate that this is a temporary adjustment and SARVAC will re-evaluate at end of the fiscal year (March 31, 2023).

The National Coordinators office has every bit of confidence in this team’s ability to efficiently and effectively manage the SARVAC prevention program. For ongoing support related to the coordination of the AdventureSmart program we ask that you continue to connect via email: