The rain didn’t stop dozens of Elk Valley locals from making their way to Sparwood’s Search and Rescue office for their yearly barbeque.
Admid the burgers and hot dogs, the Search and Rescue team hosted an open house event, showing locals what it takes to be a Search and Rescue volunteer.
“It was a really fun event,” Search and Rescue manager Ed Ehrler said. “We had lots of people come out and check out our equipment, see what we actually do [and] what we use to rescue people.”
He went on to say, “The more people in the community that know what we do, the better off we are from the position of making sure Search and Rescue is well supported so we can respond to emergencies and we can do our job effectively.”
Ehrler said that during these yearly demonstrations, they focus on backcountry safety and trying to recruit volunteers.
Currently, the organization is looking to fill several positions. Ehrler said they are also looking to fill vehicle driving positions, administrative positions and several others.
“There’s really a multitude of jobs a person can do to help Search and Rescue,” Ehrler noted. “[But] I won’t lie, it’s a fair bit of work,” he admitted.
The organization collectively puts in around 2,000 hours each year, with some volunteers working 50 hours a year, while others work 2-300 hours.
Part of becoming a volunteer entails weekly practices.
For more information on becoming a volunteer, locals can visit the Search and Rescue website at sparwood.vr-sar.org and www.adventuresmart.ca for more information on the adventure smart program—a backcountry safety awareness initiative.