Search and rescue crew seeks new members

The Central Fraser Valley team holds an open house and recruitment session on Oct. 1 in Abbotsford.

Search and rescue volunteers train in rope-rescue techniques during a session on Sumas Mountain in Abbotsford on Sept. 21.

Search and rescue volunteers train in rope-rescue techniques during a session on Sumas Mountain in Abbotsford on Sept. 21.

Central Fraser Valley Search and Rescue (CFVSAR) is currently seeking new members as well as donations toward a new rescue vehicle and team base.

SAR teams are typically called upon to assist local police and BC Ambulance at incidents that may involve vehicles, ATV’s or bikes that have gone over steep embankments, resulting in people becoming trapped, injured or killed on dangerously steep terrain that would otherwise be inaccessible without a rope rescue system and trained rescuers.

In some cases, SAR volunteers travel by helicopter, boat, ATV or on foot into remote areas to assist hikers and hunters who have become injured on trails or in rugged backcountry areas.

In many cases, injured people require specialized medical packaging and transport out of challenging terrain.

Approximately 26 trained SAR volunteers with CFVSAR respond to 30 to 40 calls annually.

Volunteer SAR team members receive comprehensive and specialized training.

Recently, CFVSAR organized rope-rescue training for nine search and rescue (SAR) teams, including Chilliwack, Mission, Ridge Meadows, Coquitlam, Surrey, North Shore, Lions Bay and Sunshine Coast.

The sessions took place July 6, Aug. 24 and Sept. 21 on Sumas Mountain in Abbotsford.

CFVSAR directors Tim Lee and Rob Sargeant are training to become rope rescue team leaders with the team and will be travelling to Squamish in mid-October along with other SAR volunteers to take part in a certification evaluation held by the Justice Institute of B.C.

Applications for new CFVSAR members are being accepted until Oct.14.

In addition, CFVSAR is hoping to raise $35,000 to help offset the costs of replacing an aging first-response vehicle that is regularly used for rope rescue, swift water rescue and ground searches.

CFVSAR also plans to replace its current team base as it has outgrown its current space.

An open house and recruitment session takes place Tuesday, Oct. 1 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the CFVSAR base at 1594 Riverside Rd. in Abbotsford.

For more details on becoming a volunteer or making a donation, visit cfvsar.bc.ca.