Sunshine Coast Search and Rescue volunteers actively ‘stand on guard for thee’. The month of February saw crew members snowshoeing, practicing rope rescue techniques, swimming, testing gear, heaving throw lines, refreshing First Aid skills and learning how to respond to potential overdose situations. Ground and marine crews met in both indoor and outdoor classrooms to practice necessary search skills and to review effective crew communication and tasking drills. Keeping our land and waters ‘glorious and (event) free’ is a calling heeded by our local volunteers who willingly step into situations where many fear to tread.
On land, Sunshine Coast Search and Rescue was tasked in an urban setting and assisted RCMP in locating a missing male in the Gibsons area. SAR crew practiced several rescue drills on Dakota Ridge, employing local area navigation with the help of our dedicated search team volunteers and two of our greatest tools of the trade—UTV (Utility Task Vehicle) and Echo, our very own Sunshine Coast Search and Rescue canine. The unit is planning to renovate its meeting and secure storage space at John Hind-Smith Hall on Solar Road in Wilson Creek. Also this month, the SCSAR crew honours the retirement of a respected search manager, Jim Janke, who will be greatly missed.
For marine preparedness, crew members from Station 14 (Gibsons), Station 12 (Halfmoon Bay) and Station 61 (Pender Harbour) have been busy with Critical Incident Stress recognition and management training, First Responder first aid certification and Emergency Operations Essentials with Sunshine Coast Regional District. New recruits have been on several check rides and are joining active crew on call rotations.
From Gibsons to Pender Harbour, four distinct Search and Rescue units comprised of 120 active crew and over 50 supporting volunteers standing guard over the Sunshine Coast’s trails and shoreline. Each unit raises funds for meeting spaces, gear, training courses, rescue equipment, special vehicles or vessels to fulfill rescue duties. Contributions from generous community members and grants from local foundations, government and service agencies allow volunteers to focus on skill development and proficiency. Donations are greatly appreciated and are accepted online via sunshinecoastsar.ca