Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Training basket of Master Cpl. Jeff Ferguson

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MASTER Cpl. JEFF FERGUSON, 34

Canadian Forces Search and Rescue technician (SAR tech) at 17 Wing Winnipeg

Accomplishments: With Remembrance Day around the corner, please take a moment to be thankful for Canada's SAR techs. In your worst moment, facing the most danger, it is a SAR tech like Ferguson who will come for you. SAR techs are the highly-trained, multi-skilled people who parachute from aircraft into open water, rappel down mountainsides and deep-water dive. Whatever it takes to save you, these people will do it, and put their own lives on the line without hesitation. Ferguson, a native of Ajax, Ont., has been posted at 17 Wing for the past 16 months. He is one of 12 SAR techs at 17 Wing and one of 167 in Canada. He has served in the military for 11 years, four as a medic and the last seven as a SAR tech. After high school he worked briefly as a snowmaker at Lake Louise, where he met various rescue personnel and heard about the SAR tech career. He joined the military and embarked on his path, which includes intense mental and physical demands in training and duties, each day. Ferguson has worked 60 missions in the past six years, including Haiti in 2010 after the earthquake.

"Why I wanted to do this is I wanted to help people," Ferguson said. "With the way that I am, an adrenaline-focused individual, it was really a good fit. A lot of times when we go out, there's nobody else that will go in to do these rescues. I get to try to be that hand for somebody when nobody else is there for them."

Ferguson said SAR techs "love our job and each other and although a humble breed, we enjoy when people take an interest in what we do."

1. Favourite workout?

Lifting, climbing and CrossFit. My favourite CrossFit workout is 'Fight Gone Bad:' which is as many repetitions as possible at five stations in five minutes, three to five rounds. Wall-ball with 20-lb ball and 10-foot target, sumo deadlift high pull with 75 pounds, box jumps on 20-inch box, push-press with 75 pounds and rowing.

2. Favourite workout song?

War by System of a Down.

3. Fitness tip?

I just think of the people I don't want to let down or who might rely on me and it motivates me.

4. What's in your fridge?

It's what's not in my fridge, thanks to Kelly and Milly's farm near Stony Mountain! I work on their farm on my days off and in turn, they feed me. A nice trade of services! No grains, gluten, dairy or legumes. Lots of organic fruits, veggies, eggs and copious amounts of meat.

5.What's your guilty pleasure?

Subway foot-long sandwiches, large amounts of sushi and I've really been craving Kraft Dinner lately!

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 9, 2013 D15

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