Terry Donald

Campbell River SAR gets boost from bikers

Both the military and SAR teams do their part to keep our communities safe

Campbell River Search and Rescue (SAR) got a bit of a financial boost this week, accepting a $1,500 cheque from Veteran’s UN Nato Canada.

The veterans’ support organization recently held a poker run to raise money for military veterans, but feels it’s also important to recognize other services that also keep communities and our citizenry safe.

Terry Donald, North Island Representative for the organization, who was a rescue diver with the Canadian military, says he understands the value of SAR services for a community, which is why they want to support it. Both the military and SAR teams do their part to keep our communities safe, he said.

“I understand the need for it, I believe in it, that’s why I decided that we were going to do this,” Donald said. “People don’t realize how fast they can get themselves into trouble (in the wilderness),” and by the time they find out, they need services like SAR and the military to be available.

“Although we have a patch on our back, we’re not a gang. We’re a foundation and charitable organization, and our main goal is to help take care of our veterans,” but part of supporting veterans is supporting the communities and support groups in which they live.

Tim Fairbank, Manager of Campbell River SAR, was happy to receive the donation.

“This is just one of the many examples of how good the community has been to us,” Fairbank said. Most of the organization’s overhead and day-to-day operating cost is covered by grants and they get reimbursed by the provincial government for their expenses when they are in the field, but their equipment and many of their training expenses come from fundraising and donations like this one.

So what are they going to use this particular $1,500 for?

“Well, it all goes into the pool, and there’s a lot that’s always on our shopping list,” Fairbank laughed. “But it’s almost exactly the amount that we’re going to be spending soon to put an awning on the side of our Mobile Command Centre,” which is important to keep crews out of the rain or snow while they receive instructions in the field, “so that might be an appropriate designation for it.”

Campbell River SAR volunteers put in over 7,000 in 2014, responding by air, water and land to emergencies covering a vast area in our region.