Search and rescue teams sharpen skills at Penticton meeting

SAR teams secure a basket stretcher using a simple belay. From left to right, Ian King (PENSAR), Kelvin Hall (PENSAR) and Emma Jameson (Princeton Search and Rescue).
Image Credit: Penticton Search and Rescue

PENTICTON - Penticton was "SAR Central" on the weekend with several teams from the region gathering to hone their skills and share ideas.

The event took place in Penticton Saturday, March 14 and teams practised rescue and communication techniques and did a little networking.

The teams, which included Penticton Search and Rescue, Central Okanagan Search and Rescue (COSAR) and Princeton Search and Rescue, congregated at the Penticton Yacht and Tennis Club Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

“This is the second time we’ve met like this," Penticton Search and Rescue Coordinator Anne Benn says. "We’re hoping to make it an annual event. It gives the different units a chance to work with one another as well as an opportunity for networking between the teams.

“By working... on scenarios together, it also offers us a chance to improve communications between teams,” she says.

Benn says Saturday’s exercises were based on ground search and rescue techniques and Automated External Defibrillator protocols.

Teams participated in a trail block, essentially an interview exercise where members set up on a trail based on information they have regarding a lost hiker’s last whereabouts. They then interview other trail users to glean any information they might have regarding the hiker being sought.

Other exercises included distance navigation, tracking and basket belay exercises.

Penticton Search and Rescue member Kelvin Hall, who also participated in the event, says the exercise was a good way to utilize personal skills in a mutual aid type situation.

"This exercise reinforces skills everyone learns, but don't always get a chance to use," he says. The mixing of search and rescue teams and skill sets provided a good learning experience for everyone on the teams.

There was more to the get together than networking and team building, Benn explained, adding “It gets everyone on the same page.”

Benn says a guest speaker also led the group in a discussion about death and the grief process.

Twenty search and rescue members participated in the event.

Teams navigate a course while searching for clues. Left to right in photo:  Stan Wieczorak (COSAR), Pete Vangene (Princeton), Jim Barrett (Princeton) and Fraser McKinnon (PENSAR).
Teams navigate a course while searching for clues. Left to right in photo: Stan Wieczorak (COSAR), Pete Vangene (Princeton), Jim Barrett (Princeton) and Fraser McKinnon (PENSAR).
Image Credit: Penticton Search and Rescue

A simulated cardiac event ending in cardiac arrest had members Scott Hare of Princeton SAR, Christy Giles of Penticton SAR and Sil Huber of Penticton SAR treating the patient.
A simulated cardiac event ending in cardiac arrest had members Scott Hare of Princeton SAR, Christy Giles of Penticton SAR and Sil Huber of Penticton SAR treating the patient.
Image Credit: Penticton Search and Rescue

Teams identify tracks and find tracks to indicate direction of travel. Shown, left to right: Sil Huber (PENSAR), Scott Hare (Princeton Search and Rescue) and Christy Giles (PENSAR).
Teams identify tracks and find tracks to indicate direction of travel. Shown, left to right: Sil Huber (PENSAR), Scott Hare (Princeton Search and Rescue) and Christy Giles (PENSAR).
Image Credit: Penticton Search and Rescue

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.


letters-to-the-editor
CANNINGS: Celebrate Canada Day by learning the full history of Canada
  OPINION Editor, Parliament has risen, and it feels very good to be back in British Columbia for the summer. Ottawa is gearing up for the big Canada Day festivities for the 150th birthday of our country, but I ca

Top News