The early 1980s era was witness to a significant event in New Brunswicks history, for the beginning of an organized ground search
and rescue effort was gathering momentum. First in the Hoyt and Fredericton areas, it would soon develop province wide. Thus, in the
fall of 1984, the first ground search and rescue organizational meetings for the Carleton County area occurred at Florenceville, NB
between representatives of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Provincial Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) officials andinterested citizens from area communities. From this origin and only a few months later, Carleton Ground Search & Rescue Inc.would officially declare itself to the world in 1985.
..the Carl Bergdall Search…. And 20 years later, a family from West Virginia remembers..The first full week of October, 1986 dawned
in the Arthurette area of Victoria County, New Brunswick as countless others through time had before. But on this day things were
different, for a serious matter of great concern was moving throughout the community. Carl Bergdall, a 68 year old hunter from West
Virginia was missing somewhere in the vast woods of the nearby Birch Ridge area. RCMP Cpl. Doug Lockhart of the Plaster Rock Detachment
initiated a ground search and rescue effort which would soon include three of New Brunswicks newly organized Ground Search & Rescue
Teams, tracking dogs, the RCMP helicopter, volunteer searchers and an outpouring of local community and business support.Mr. Bergdalls
body was recovered on October 08 after an intensive 4 day search . The autopsy confirmed he had perished as the result of a heart
attack, probably on the same day he was reported missing. Cpl. Lockhart would later estimate that approximately 2000 acres (800 hectares)
were covered during the search.
Mr. Bergdalls widow, Annabelle Bergdall, passed away in September of 2004 . She did not forget the people who searched for her husband
in the rural New Brunswick woods of Birch Ridge. Annabelle Bergdall in her last will and testament, directed the sum of $2000.00 US
each to go to Tobique Ground Search & Rescue, Miramichi Ground Search & Rescue, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Arthurette Branch
No.85 Royal Canadian Legion and our Team….Carleton Ground Search & Rescue. In a recent letter to our Team, daughter Phyllis Bergdall
Cook writes: " We, the family, again extend our heartful thanks for all that you did in your efforts to search for our dad, Carl Bergdall,
in October of 1986. Thank you."
..to Phyllis Bergdall Cook and family, .. "Carleton Ground Search & Rescue respectfully pay homage to the memory of your mother,
Annabelle Bergdall, and we are very grateful for her kind and gracious contribution to our Team. Our Team was very saddened by your
fathers passing at Birch Ridge in 1986 and those memories return as we belatedly extend our sympathy to you and your family on the
loss of your mother. …..for now it is our turn to say Thank you. "
...CGSR Webmaster James (Jim) M Corey... Team charter member
and a veteran of Birch Ridge in October of 1986..
Proudly serving Carleton County and the surrounding area since 1985
The BIRCH RIDGE SEARCH....and the beginning.