The most important part of a search and rescue team is its volunteers. Without the hard work and dedication of thousands of unpaid professionals, BC's search and rescue system would simply not function. Most teams are continually recruiting to fill a variety of roles, and ours is no exception.
VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME
There are a wide variety of jobs to do and not all of them involve going out in the woods and into the mountains to rescue people. Even if you're not prepared to become a front-line responder, or cannot simply drop everything and attend a callout at a moment's notice, there are still roles you can fill in our organization.
Members in Training (MIT) are team members who are working toward obtaining their Ground Search and Rescue certificate. MIT's are typically deployed to tasks that are within their current skill set, or alongside a GSAR member to develop field experience. MIT's must also commit a fair amount of time to study and attending practice with extra training sessions to build their skills and achieve full GSAR certification.
GROUND SEARCH AND RESCUE
Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) members are the front-line responders for searches. They are often called out to support a technical rescue operation as well. This level of volunteer requires a significant time commitment as you must actively maintain your skills through regularly attending practice and studying. Some of the expectations of a GSAR member include:
Have your Ground Search and Rescue certificate.
First Aid certificate: OFA-1 or equivalent.
Be physically fit.
High level of map and navigation skills.
Have a "go-bag" so you are ready to spend the night outdoors for up to 24 hours no matter the conditions.
Be available on little to no notice, can arrange for time off work and family commitments, often at inconvenient times of the day.
After becoming a full GSAR member, there are opportunities to become certified in technical rescue operations. Such as swiftwater rescue, helicopter rescue and avalanche rescue, among other disciplines.
Our road rescue members are frontline responders who respond to motor vehicle accidents on the major highways that surround our community. The majority of our calls come in the winter. You must be 19 years and older to do this discipline within the team. The training includes embankment rope rescue and vehicle extrication that are both NFPA 1670 compliant.