October 07, 2015 - 6:30 PM
PENTICTON - Penticton Search and Rescue beefed up its ranks during a recent recruiting campaign.
Search and Rescue spokesperson Randy Brown says 25 applicants were reviewed and 17 eventually selected. Those 17 began initial training Monday night, Oct. 5.
The new recruits begin with a basic 70-hour search and rescue course, which will take about three months, as well as standardized first aid, and possibly some add-ons.
“Once they get through their basic Justice Institute training, then they get on the team,” Brown says.
The new candidates serve a probationary period of six months before being allowed to take more specialized courses like rope rescue, boat, swift water, flat water and Helicopter External Transport System (HETS), Brown says.
“It’s a progressive step with everything,” he says.
Penticton’s rescue squad is currently 33 members strong. When the 17 recruits come on board, Brown says the organization will hit a 'sweet spot' with 50 members.
“With the number of tasks and with people at work, we always recognize 50 per cent can’t come on a given task due to family or work. That’s going to give us anywhere from 15 to 25 people respond,” he says.
The organization is already up to 50 task days this year, above the normal number of 30.
“I was part of the interview process, these are a great bunch of candidates. I was very impressed with the scope and calibre and the variety of people that are coming in,” Brown says.
Penticton Search and Rescue meet every Monday night, with specialty teams setting their own additional schedule of meetings.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015