January 09, 2015 - 7:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - More than 10,000 volunteer hours were put into Kamloops Search and Rescue in 2014 with some volunteers putting in as many as 800 hours alone.
Search Manager Alan Hobler says the team was called out on 36 tasks during the year, 20 of which were operational on the ground. One of the most memorable tasks of the year was a rope rescue near High Bar.
“When we flew over it in the helicopter I could not believe anyone could survive, and then my second concern was how we would ever get them out,” he recalls. “It was a very long day and a spectacular rope rescue.”
Eight new members were added to the team this year, for a total of 42 active members at the end of the year. Three members were certified as ground search team leaders, something Hobler says helps strengthen the team.
As a team that already has many specialties, including rope rescue, swift water rescue, ATVs and dog teams, the addition of several members taking organized avalanche response training adds to the overall strength of the group.
In total about 3,300 hours were spent on regular training this year. The amount of time spent on specialty training is up to each individual and their interests. Between trainings, tasks and administration duties, the average member puts in a total of 240 hours during the year.
So far this winter has been quieter for rescuers. Over the 2013 winter break seven skiers or snowboarders had to be rescued in the Sun Peaks area during four separate searches over a nine-day period.
The team has used the quieter period to continue training as they prepare for the tasks that will need their attention in the near future.
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Search and rescue volunteers spend many hours training.
(JENNIFER STAHN /InfoTel Multimedia)
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