Meet our executive team
The CASARA executive team is dedicated to leading our volunteers from one end of the country to the other. They draw upon their knowledge and experiences to improve the quality of CASARA service and to advocate for its recognition.
Frank Schuurmans joined CASARA in 1989 and since that time has held numerous positions within the Saskatchewan CASARA organization including Pilot, Navigator, Spotter and Provincial President. Frank is still an active CASARA Saskatchewan Pilot having flown numerous CASARA searches for both the Royal Canadian Air Force and the RCMP.
Frank started his flying career at a young age having obtained glider training through the Air Cadet Program then later obtaining a private pilot and commercial pilot’s license, which he still currently holds. Frank is active in the Saskatchewan flying community sitting on the board of director’s for the Regina Flying Club and as an Industry advisory member on the Saskatchewan Aviation Council (SAC).
On July 10 2008 Frank was involved with the CASARA / Heron unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) project in Suffield Alberta. In conjunction with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) Frank was instrumental in the coordination of a CASARA aircraft, which was flown by him in the first ever demonstration flight of a Heron UAV and a civilian / CASARA aircraft working together in the same airspace. The CASARA UAV demonstration was used to explore the future potential of UAV’s working in conjunction with manned aircraft in Search and Rescue. (Filmed for an episode of Discovery Channels – Daily Planet).
Vice-President Training and Operations
John moved west from Ontario after graduating from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Geodetic Sciences (Geomatics).
John’s interest in aviation was inspired at an early age by his father a WWII RCAF veteran. John earned his Private Pilot’s license in 1981 and purchased a C172 in 1983. The aircraft was used for commuting to different mine operations early in his mining career.
John Fargey joined PEP Air during the inception of CASARA in 1985. Returning to Fort McMurray Alberta from BC in 1991 he joined the local CASARA Zone of what is now part of CASARA Alberta. There he was active in all aircrew positions and served many years as Zone Commander. Through the years he has coordinated and participated in many JRCC and RCMP searches. Provincially John has been the CASARA Alberta President and is currently the CASARA National Director for Alberta.
Vice-President Finance and Administration
Alton King has been involved in Air Search and Rescue since the fall of 1979. He was a Spotter, Navigator and Pilot in his home Zone of the Kootenays in British Columbia. Over the years he has filled the position of Area Air Deputy, Deputy Zone Commander, Zone Commander, Provincial Secretary/Treasurer, Executive Member, Deputy Director and now holds the position as Director of British Columbia since 2010.
In 1992 the President of CASARA Mr. Charles Pachal asked him to attend a meeting to introduce an accounting package that could be used Nationally. He then was asked to come to other BOD meetings to train some of the Treasurers from other MO’s to use the package. The same accounting numbering system that he set up back in 1992 is still used today albeit the accounting package has improved immensely over the years. He once owned and operated the largest Data Processing Company in Southeastern British Columbia.
Alton retired in 2008 and has devoted his time to PEP Air and CASARA on a full time basis even while wintering in Arizona and Mexico. He looks forward to the new challenges as the VP of Finance and Administration for CASARA National.
Vice-President Plans and Equipment
Doug MacDonald joined CASARA in 1999, volunteering as a spotter, navigator and pilot. He soon became the Provincial Director for Prince Edward Island and, after four years, was voted into his current position as Vice-President Plans and Equipment.
Doug has a private pilot’s licence with 2,600 hours of flight time. He is a part-time member of the Canadian Forces with the Prince Edward Island Regiment with whom he has served for 28 years. He also has one tandem parachute jump from 12,500 feet with the SkyHawks Canadian Forces Parachute Team.