Campbell River Search and Rescue (CRSAR) volunteers will be better equipped to respond to emergency situations after participating in a stretcher training workshop.
The workshop, held on the evening of July 13 at the Beaver Lodge Forest Lands in Campbell River, was attended by around a dozen volunteers who practiced techniques for preparing, loading and carrying patients on stretchers in rescue situations.
The event was the organization’s first in-person training workshop this year, after having only trained online throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, explained Tim Fairbank, CRSAR president.
“There hasn’t been a lot of face-to-face, hands-on training,” he said. “Both new members and older members are kind of playing catch up a little — with the more experienced trying to refresh their skills and mentor some of our new members.”
Depending on where and when the rescue is taking place and the person’s injuries, stretchers may be used for extraction by helicopter or travel to an approach accessible to ground transport. One of the techniques the group practiced was use of a stretcher wheel, which allow the stretcher-bound person to be transported for extended distances over terrain.
CRSAR volunteers include physicians, paramedics, nurses and others with advanced first aid training. The group is responsible for all land and inland waterway search and rescue for a massive area stretching from the Oyster River north to Port Hardy, east to Bute Inlet and parts of the B.C. mainland coast, and west to Nootka Island. The organization typically holds a call-out for around 10 to 15 new members each fall, who are then trained over eight or nine weeks.