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Building extension improves Campbell River Search and Rescue’s capacity

CRSAR held volunteer and sponsor appreciation BBQ on April 14

It sure is nice to have more space to spread out.

That’s what the Campbell River Search and Rescue team is feeling these days, now that they have finished the work on a new bay and training room extension. The building add-on was unveiled to members and sponsors on April 14 during an appreciation BBQ event.

“The building was put up in 2006, and over the last year and a half or so it has gone through a bit of a renovation,” said CRSAR member Tim Strange. “We found it was getting crowded for space … we decided it was expedient to put another bay onto the hall here.”

Adding the bay gives the crew space to spread their equipment out. Typically trailers full of quads, side-by-sides and other tools get parked in a row in the main two bays of the building. To use certain equipment, there’s a certain bit of shuffling required. The new bay gives them the chance to deploy their gear faster and more efficiently.

“You had to move tons of stuff to be able to tow it out,” Strange said. “We’re not like the fire department where minutes count, but at times we’re hustling to get going. It’s more about daylight constraints.”

For instance, the helicopters used by CRSAR are required to be on the ground half an hour after sunset. So on a day where the sun sets at 8 p.m., getting a call at 6 p.m. only has a certain window of opportunity to use a helicopter.

On top of the garage bay is a large training room which will be put to use many times through the years for new skills, certifications and classes.

The building came together with the help of the Rotary Club of Campbell River, The City of Campbell River, and the Province of British Columbia. Other sponsors included the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, Mosaic Forest Management, North Island Communication, the Strathcona Regional District, and Western Forest Products.

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