Sparwood search and rescue team counts losses after fire

The search manager says that losses are expected to top $275,000

Members of the search and rescue team in Sparwood, B.C., are getting a better idea of the significant losses caused by a weekend fire.

Search manager Ed Ehrler says most of the team’s specialized equipment was lost early Saturday when flames tore through the building in southeastern, B.C., where the equipment was stored.

He says the back half of the building was gutted and losses are expected to top $275,000, but no one was hurt.

Three all-terrain vehicles were destroyed and four rescue boats are described as “completely melted.”

Ehrler says ropes, first-aid equipment and avalanche gear can’t be salvaged because they may have been compromised by heat and smoke.

He applauds quick work by firefighters to save two trucks, two snowmobiles and the command trailer, but says he worries that expenses will outstrip any payouts, even with the insurance coverage.

“Fortunately, because of the way search and rescue in B.C. is structured, we can just call on assistance from the neighbouring SAR groups, as needed,” Ehrler says.

The 25 volunteer members of Sparwood Search and Rescue cover the Elk Valley region of the East Kootenay and are trained in avalanche and community emergency response, as well as swift-water and high-angle rope rescues. (CHBZ)

 

The Canadian Press