Dave MacDonald

Survival Instructor

Dave MacDonald

President and Lead Survival Instructor

Personal History

  • Born  in southern Ontario
  • Childhood spent in the outdoors hunting, fishing and exploring the Bay of  Quinte
  • Member of the Army Cadets from the ages of 12 through 18
  • Member of Toronto Scottish Military Regiment at the age of 19
  • Currently residing in Lac Du Bonnet, Manitoba
  • Father of  two boys


Personal Hobbies

  • Hunting (archery, black powder and rifle) and fishing
  • Back country canoeing and camping
  • Hiking and mountain biking
  • Dog sledding
  • Scuba diving
  • K-9 Search and Rescue training for tracking, searching and urban disaster response


  • Became a full member of the Canadian Military as a Weapons Technician, land, at the age of 20
  • Served in Quebec City with the military for 6 years
  • Served in Nicosia Cyprus as a United Nations Peacekeeper for 6 months
  • Changed trades within the Canadian Military from a Weapons Technician to a Search and Rescue Technician (SARTech) in 1993
  • In 1993, served as a SARTech in Trenton, Ontario for 6 years with 424 Squadron (transport and rescue)
  • In 1999, served as a SARTech in Winnipeg, Manitoba for 6 years with 435 Squadron (transport, air to air refueling, and rescue)
  • In 2005, began instructing at the Canadian Forces School of Survival and Aero medical Training (CFSSAT) as a Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE) instructor
  • Retired from military 2010, after 25yrs of service.

Instruction Experience

  • 3 years instructing with ICSOS Inc.
  • 5 1/2 years basic and advanced survival instructor at CFSSAT
  • Guest instructor at NATO winter survival course in Spatin, Norway, 2006 and 2009
  • Guest survival  instructor for SAR Tech pre-selection course in Jarvis Lake, Alberta
  • Instructor for NATO aircrew winter survival course in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
  • Guest speaker for Manitoba Hydro’s safety conference spring 2009
  • Numerous mobile teaching teams (MTT’s) for air crew pre-deployment briefings prior to going over seas


  • Military Search and Rescue Technician;
  • Spill Response Management;
  • Small Craft Vessel Operator;
  • Ground Search Manager;
  • HPMA(Human Performance in Military Aviation) program coordinator;
  • ACUC Open Water Diver;
  • NAUI  Advance and Recue Diver;
  • Bronze Medal, Bronze Cross, and National Lifeguard;
  • Wilderness first aid;
  • CPR level C;
  • A.E.D.;
  • Oxygen theory;
  • Manitoba Hunting Guide
  • Certified Master Dog Trainer.


Professional Courses, Skills and Errata

  • High and low  angle rope rescue;
  • Search and Rescue diver;
  • Parachutist (static line and freefall);
  • Jump Master (static line and freefall);
  • Survival Instructor;
  • Escape and Evasion Instructor;
  • Environmental Officer;
  • Helicopter underwater egress;;
  • Junior leaders course;
  • Arctic survival;
  • Advanced SERE;
  • Aero medical training;
  • Sea survival;
  • Land survival;
  • Ships diver;
  • Winter warfare crse;
  • Fixed wing multi engine experience;
  • Rotary wing experience;
  • CASARA spotter trng;
  • Rigging for rescue crse;
  • Mountain and avalanche training and experience;
  • Power point level 1 & 2 crse;
  • Building a risk -smart  organization crse;
  • Defusing hostility crse;
  • Leading diversity crse;
  • Customer service crse;
  • Managing projects for results crse;
  • Instructional techniques crse;
  • 17 years ER,OR,Cor0ner, & ambulance experience in ON, AB ,BC, & MB;
  • Working on certificate in Adult and Continuing Education with the U of M.