Campbell River Search and Rescue responded to a 48 calls in 2014, a record high in the group’s 38-year history.
Campbell River SAR released the figure as part of a report reviewing last year’s activity by the approximately 40 members of the all-volunteer group.
Its members routinely drop whatever they are doing to come and help, whether it is to slog through wet bush, or hike up a steep trail in the dark. Many of them put in extra hours of training to qualify for specialty rescue teams such as Alpine, Swiftwater, Rope rescue and helicopter long-line.
Others have fully qualified search dogs, and still others have expertise in areas like mapping, search management and radio communications.
In 2014 Campbell River SAR members logged more than 7,000 hours of training, call-outs, maintenance, fund-raising and publicity, and administration. With unrecorded contribution, the real total is even higher.
A primary focus going forward in 2015 will be the training of this year’s new recruits. More than a dozen new members will attend 80 hours of classroom and outdoor training. By the beginning of May they will be qualified to join searches — just in time for the busy season again.
In its review of 2014, Campbell River SAR recognized the contribution of partners and supporters, including its many donors — both private and corporate — the RCMP detachments of the North Island; B.C. Ambulance Service; West coast, Grizzly and E&B Helicopters; and all those employers who let our members leave work when someone needed our services
Those who would like to learn more about Campbell River SAR and what it does are invited to visit the group’s website at crsar.ca. There is also a link to its donation service, for those willing to help contribute to the high cost of training and equipping local members.