The maze of logging roads traversing northern and central Vancouver Island are an important outdoor recreation resource in the region.
Finding your way around them has always been made easier by Campbell River Search and Rescue’s North Island Road and Access Maps book. But that book hasn’t been updated since 2009 – until now.
CRSAR’s most recently-completed project was one of great anticipation from not only within their own group, but from the public as well. The CRSAR North Island Road and Access Maps have been updated from their 2009 version.
Starting this fall, the latest version can be purchased from 15 retailers on the North Island from Courtenay to Port Hardy, plus a few locations further south. Visit their website for a complete list of retailers. The maps include road data compiled from four major licensees on North Vancouver Island. CRSAR received incredible support from these licensees: TimberWest, Interfor, Western Forest Products, and BC Timber Sales. The books were produced for CRSAR through the efforts of Mike Doknjas of Mindseye Digital who did the exceptionally detailed mapping work, and R&H Printing in Campbell River who produced the eye-catching final product.
These maps serve two major purposes. The first is part of CRSAR’s ongoing SAR prevention efforts. Their main priority in Search and Rescue is to reduce the number and severity of search and rescue incidents. These maps allow the public to safely navigate the extensive backcountry road network that we have on the North Island. The second purpose is to support CRSAR’s fundraising efforts. All Search and Rescue groups in B.C. are non-profit and run by dedicated volunteers. The funds generated from fundraising initiatives like this one go directly toward outfitting our members with the tools and training that they need to perform search and rescue tasks.
It’s been a busy 2017 for CRSAR. They’ve been tasked with over 40 callouts to date, trained in more than three dozen exercises, and have welcomed seven new Members in Training to our team.
On top of this, they’ve completed some major projects recently. In 2016, CRSAR received their portion of a funding package that was given out to BC SAR groups from the provincial government to upgrade equipment, provide funding for training, assist in capital projects, and to support SAR operations at the local level. They used their portion of these funds to upgrade two of their response vehicles.
Response 1, a single-axle one ton 1999 cab and chassis, was upgraded to a brand new 550 series crew cab to hold their existing tool-carrier body.
Their old Response 2 was a cube van with makeshift shelving that never filled their needs effectively. An entirely new aluminum truck body was built to carry a wide assortment of rescue gear, then bolted to a matching 550 weight crew cab. CRSAR is now in a very strong position to face the next 15 or more years, as their primary vehicles will be expected to last that long.
Perhaps you have noticed a change in CRSAR’s logo this year as well. At the end of 2016 they made the decision to update their team logo and it has now been fully integrated into their group’s identity. The new logo is part of their effort to rebrand their organization, including their work to have a greater presence on social media. Part of this work serves to better inform and educate the public on their SAR Prevention initiatives such as the AdventureSmart program. The original logo will remain among the group as part of their important history and to remind them of where they began. The group has evolved immensely from its inception and they are excited to have the logo follow them on this journey.
A final initiative that CRSAR is especially proud of, is their increased social media presence. A small team of members update sites whenever there is any kind of news or photos to share.
The links are:
Do you need some excitement in your life? CRSAR is recruiting this fall, and hopes to select 12 more members for a training program in the early spring of 2018. Applications are being accepted until the end of November. Details are available on their website.
For more information on these recent projects, visit their website www.crsar.ca or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.