Sparwood SAR swiftwater team in training on Apr. 6 2022, practicing skills for the 2022 summer season. (Image courtesy of Sparwood Search and Rescue)

Sparwood SAR has busy year with 19 callouts and thousands of hours of volunteer time

Sparwood SAR gave an update on activities and plans to the District of Sparwood

Sparwood Search and Rescue (SAR) responded to 19 incidents in 2021, of which six were mutual aid calls in Elkford, Fernie, and as far afield as Quesnel.

In an update on the organization given to the District of Sparwood council on Apr. 5, Jackie Carpenter and Lauren Boudreau of the SAR shared details on call-outs, recruitment and plans for the future.

“Responses included injured recreationalists, people stranded in the river, overdue and lost hikers, and assisting with sandbagging and evacuation alerts in Hosmer during the November floods,” said Carpenter, who also said the Sparwood SAR had lead a three-day search for a woman in Sparwood that had brought in other SAR teams from around the region.

Overall, Sparwood SAR member spent 517 hours on call-outs in 2021, another 1,237 hours on time on things like training and courses, as well as hundreds of hours on administrative work.

Looking forward to 2022, Boudreau said that they expected their priorities to be continued recruitment of non-operational members to the Sparwood SAR board, re-organization, and steam-lining of book-keeping in order to meet provincial reporting requirements.

In-person training has been impacted by the pandemic over the last two years, but Boudreau said that was changing. Most training has been forced online, or outdoors in small groups, which she said was more convenient, for individual members, but not great for team-building which was a must for the SAR.

“We look forward to engaging in community events again, and team-building in person.”

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