Rays Training Trip to Norway/Greece

What I want to do:

I have arranged a Search and Rescue crew exchange to Norway to learn from the Norweigian Redningsslskapet 125 years of experience. This trip will further my personal experience and make me a more valuable asset in my teams. This trip as organized by the Redningsslskapet (RS) will involve trips to their Northern Locations (Svolvær, Balstad and Myre) 
to see the challenges that come with operating in an Arctic environment. I'll then be serving in their southern stations (Skjærhalden, Arendal, Oscarsborg and Oslo)
and undergoing training at their newly built training facility in the town of Horten. This trip will last from April 18th to June 2nd. 

After my time in Norway, I will be travelling to Greece to work with Refugee Rescue. An Irish based NGO running Fast Rescue Craft operations and Land based Triage services in conjunction with UNHCR camps on the island. I am scheduled to serve on their vessel to bring the expertise from the West Coast of Canada to the Greek islands. This portion of the trip is entirely independent of RCM-SAR sanction and support and should be understood as a completely private endeavour. The challenges that will come in both the pre-hospital care settings on shore as well as the rescue craft will no doubt expand my breadth and depth of Basic Life Support interventions and operations. 

This is the experience of a lifetime. Unfortunately due to unexpected personal expenses and very high tuition costs, I do not believe I will have the funds necessary to make this dream a reality without the generous help of friends, family and hopefully strangers.

This trip is entirely self funded. Without the help of the community, I do not believe it would be feasible to complete it alone. 

Any money recieved will go towards plane tickets, food and housing directly related to the exchange trip.

Any money left over will be donated to the Howe Sound Marine Rescue Society, directly contributing to Marine safety infrastructure in BC.

Who Am I:

My name is Raymond Messier. I am a crewmember with Station 02 North Vancouver and Station 04 Squamish in the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCM-SAR). In addition to my operational crewing responsibilities, I also serve as President of the Howe Sound Marine Rescue Society, the fundraising society responsible for providing material contribution to Station 04 Squamish. I have served in both these roles for over two and a half years. Due to my time of enrollment, I joined just three weeks before moving to Vancouver to begin my academic career at Simon Fraser University's School of International Studies. I intend to specialize in Canadian Sovereignty issues pertaining to Arctic Security.

I completed my new crew training in quick time, while working, while training. Needless to say, it has been a busy couple of years but I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Since joining, I have worked hard to excell in my field, increasing my training level as a SAR medic with other organizations, maintaining my competency requirements as a provincially licenced Emergency Medical Responder and working hard to assist in new crew training as is expected of all advanced crew members.

Assuming my role as president within my first month of my service to my SAR Units, I am accutely aware of the fundraising challenges involved in providing 24/7/365.  As an entirely privately funded organization, RCM-SAR relies on the hard work of its volunteers and generous contributions from the community through grants and donations to provide this vital service.  Because of this, I know it would be improper to ask, nor would they have the means necessary, to materially support my endeavours.

With this in mind, I was - and still am - extremely hesitant asking for the public's help in fundraising for a personal endeavour when there are large and pressing needs on the waiting list.  However, I feel that pragmatism must prevail.
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Raymond Messier 
North Vancouver, BC
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