Sparwood SAR Completed Valuable Chopper Training

SAR Team Members gained valualbe experience and education in live chopper training.

Members of the Sparwood Search and Rescue team completed live helicopter training

Eleven members, of the Sparwood Search and Rescue (SAR) Team recently completed live helicopter training, and not a moment too soon. “Due to this area, the use of helicopters in search and rescue missions is quite common,” says Ed Ehrler, Search and Rescue Manager. “We have done a little bit of ground school training and for safety’s sake we decided it was important to get our members trained in a live helicopter,” he says. Paid for by an Avalanche and winter training grant from Columbia Basin Trust, the helicopter was brought in. “We called in Hy- Ridge Helicopters,  as they have been really good and taken the time to give us some ground training before,” says Ehrler.

Each of the members took turns loading gear into the running helicopter, then members were flown to the top of a mountain by Wilson Creek Draw. “Things change when the helicopter is running,” says Ehrler. “It was so valuable to have this experience. Team members also felt what it was like to be in a high wind environment, as the wind on the top of the mountain was really blowing that day. It is very beneficial to have this type of education, so when members respond to an actual call, the natural adrenaline one would experience isn’t so overwhelming,” says Ehrler.

Only one week after SAR members completed the helicopter training, teams responded to two incidents, both in which choppers were used. “Members noticed a huge improvement after having this training. It was quite advantageous,” says Ehrler.

Sparwood Search and Rescue would like to remind the public, that despite SAR capabilities, it is better to not have to respond to a call in the first place. Safety and awareness in the backcountry need to be priority number one.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Proposed changes afoot for Fernie’s Second Avenue

The change would allow businesses to extend patios to serve more clients

Fernie Alpine Resort to reopen this summer

The resort will open for summer operations on Saturday, June 27, 2020

LETTER: Local tourism’s road to recovery

The Fernie Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Fernie released the joint letter on May 26

RDEK encourages Elk Valley residents to prepare for flood season

With spring melt comes rising water levels and an increased flood risk throughout the region

Planting your very own victory garden

The Free Press publisher and gardening expert, Madi Bragg, gives tips for planting

VIDEO: Bear catches ‘rascally rabbit’ for breakfast near Whistler bus stop

The brief encounter of the bear hunting its meal has gone viral

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Restorative pole project underway in Edgewood

The pole was made almost 50 years ago to pay respect to local First Nations

Risk of COVID-19 low in schools, Interior Health states

Medical Health Officer reassures parents as some children and staff head back to class June 1

B.C. drive-in theatre shuts down to await appeal of car limits, concession rules

Business owner Jay Daulat voluntarily closed down the theatre awaiting a health ministry decision

Most Read