Search and Rescue ready to roll

Campbell River Search and Rescue members (from left) Erik Thomson, Jim Hynd, Drew Sader and Clint Buchholz took the society’s new three-seat, off-road vehicle for a spin on Sunday. - Photo submitted
Campbell River Search and Rescue members (from left) Erik Thomson, Jim Hynd, Drew Sader and Clint Buchholz took the society’s new three-seat, off-road vehicle for a spin on Sunday.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Campbell River Search and Rescue (CRSAR) is preparing itself for another high-traffic season on the North Island as hikers, tourists, climbers, kayakers and all other breeds of outdoor adventurers head out into the wilderness. 
“With a growing population of backcountry enthusiasts residing in or visiting our area that have personal aspirations to test limits both physically and geographically, CRSAR is busier than ever,” said member Clint Bucholtz. “Search and Rescue has had to adopt new training for its members and purchase equipment in order to answer those calls in the very remote and inaccessible areas of Vancouver Island.
“The ground search, swift water and rope rescue teams are still the backbone of operations, but recently they have also added an Alpine Rescue Team and Helicopter Extraction Rescue Team for more extreme situations in very rugged terrain and/or high altitudes.”
The newest addition to their rescue arsenal was a Polaris Ranger 800cc three-seat, off-road vehicle.
The reason for the purchase was that up until now, CRSAR had no way to transport a victim great
distances through rough terrain or narrow trails where vehicles can’t reach. With the addition of a medical transport pod, the vehicle will also have the capability to carry an additional first aid attendant and stretcher in the back.
As it stands, the only way to get a stretcher out of rugged terrain is to carry it out which makes monitoring the victim in transport difficult and the process long.  
Fundraising efforts are being initiated and CRSAR is seeking the community’s help in outfitting the new vehicle with accessories to make it a more capable rescue machine as well as help fund other projects to increase the effectiveness of the CRSAR. 
One project on the go is the upgrade of area lighting on the recently built Mobile Command Center.
It is the pillar of the society’s equipment and acts as the central command for all ground rescue operations conducted by the CRSAR and RCMP in remote locations. An Altrusa Club donation went towards the completion of this project.
“We thank Campbell River and the surrounding communities for their continued support and are proud to service the area,” Bucholz said. 
Tax deductible donations to CRSAR can be made to: Campbell River Search and Rescue Society, Box 705, Campbell River, BC, V9W 6J3.

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