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Penticton Search and Rescue's busiest year yet

Penticton Search and Rescue's helicopter long line extraction team at work at Skaha Bluffs in June, 2015.
Image Credit: PENSAR
January 02, 2016 - 1:05 PM

PENTICTON - Penticton Search and Rescue was called upon in 2015 like no other year before it.

Search and Rescue President Dale Jorgensen says 2015 was “one heck of a year” for the search and rescue team as he offered year-end reflections to the media today, Dec. 30.

He said Penticton Search and Rescue answered 52 calls, translating into 57 days. The events included calls for missing or lost persons, medical and fire evacuations and providing aid to other SAR teams.

The organization’s volunteers put in 11,000 hours of time this year, far eclipsing the number of hours spent on an average year’s 30-35 events. The volunteer time is not only spent on active callouts, there’s also a training component all volunteers commit to. Jorgensen thanked the 34 volunteers who make up the organization for their dedication and commitment this year.

Some of PENSAR’s most significant events included:

- the six day search for a missing Ontario couple in Cathedral Park in late June
- the Penticton Helicopter longline extraction team’s numerous deployments throughout Kamloops, Kelowna, Cathedral Park, Skaha Bluffs and Manning Park areas
- four medical evacuations from Skaha Bluffs
- the July 24 rescue of a female hiker who fell 300 feet to Smith Creek

The community stepped in several times during the year to aid the rescue team with donations, including a $25,000 donation from the Penticton Rotary Club, $4,000 from the Oktoberfest Society, four automatic external defibrillators from Mediquest Technologies in Vancouver,  $2,000 from the South Okanagan Foundation and a replacement generator from Penticton Honda. Individual donations from community members and business were appreciated all year long.

“We are a destination area for people who recreate in our outdoors and we are proud to be able to provide a serve to the public and our partner agencies that support life saving,” says Jorgensen.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at sarstad@infonews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

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