The Sparwood Search and Rescue (SAR) Team welcomed visitors to their second annual open house. Guests were shown around the base, informed about new search equipment, practices, and skills and enjoyed the sunshine and a BBQ during the event.
“With the open house, it really gives us a chance to let the public take a look what happens behind the scenes. We have been really fortunate this year with grants, and corporate and private donations, which have allowed us to purchase some new, much needed equipments,” says Ed Ehrler, SAR Manager and Incident Commander. Sparwood SAR has recently added a new fully equipped emergency truck, a pair of snowmobiles, three swift water rescue boats, a District of Sparwood retired fire truck and a side by side which is expected to arrive soon. “It takes a fair bit of money to get set up, so that we are able to respond to all types of incidents. With call volume dramatically increasing, we need to grow to meet the needs of the area,” says Ehrler. ” With our recent purchase of equipment there are only a couple more things we are in need of, one especially being a new building with the space to park our equipment out of the elements,” he says.
The SAR team currently has twenty two active members and are trained in ground search, high angle rope rescue and swift water rescue. All members of the SAR team are volunteers. “Members give a couple hundred hours a year, just for training,” says Ehrler. “We have a really good, really dedicated and highly trained group. Everyone comes from all walks of life from a doctor to equipment operators,” says Ehrler. Jillian Doey, a young mother of two is an auxiliary member who is currently in training, is looking forward to joining the team. “Search and Rescue has always been something I have been interested in. I love what is involved and enjoy coming out to practices,” she says.
As people enjoyed the event, Ehrler comments that the team is always recruiting new members, and people can join to help in any way from being trained directly as a SAR member, to being involved in administration and fundraising efforts. For more information on the Sparwood SAR team or becoming a member visit www.sparwood.vr-sar.org