Central Okanagan search and rescue crews put in 3,500 hours in 2018 - InfoNews

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Central Okanagan search and rescue crews put in 3,500 hours in 2018

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January 07, 2019 - 2:01 PM

KELOWNA - The Central Okanagan Search and Rescue wrapped up a busy year in 2018.

The search and rescue volunteers spent 3,500 hours on task in 2018, up from 2,200 in 2017, according to a Central Okanagan Search and Rescue media release. These 1,300 extra hours do not include the approximately 6,000 hours spent on training, administration, fundraising or equipment maintenance.

This past year crews responded to 50 calls, up from 46 in 2017, but down from 2016 when they were called out 52 times.

The number of days spent on task also rose in 2018 to 64 from 62 in 2017 due in part to two six-day searches.

“We had a number of complex tasks this year,” search and rescue president Dan Schlosser says in the release. “We requested and received mutual aid from Penticton and Vernon on our two longer searches. And one rescue at Christie Falls required rope teams from three different search and rescue groups as well as a helicopter from 442 Squadron out of Canadian Forces Base Comox.”

Schlosser says the organization has outgrown its current building and must decide whether to upgrade the existing facility or find a new home.

"As the complexity of tasks increases, so does the need for more specialized equipment, as well as a place to store it," Schlosser says.

Tasks in 2018 ranged from searches for children to dementia patients in their 80s, rescuing injured cyclists from Myra Canyon and Crawford trails, and helping injured hunters. The volunteer group also assisted in recovery of six bodies.

“The year was busy, but it had its positives as well,” Schlosser says. “We were named Volunteer Organization of the Year by The Central Okanagan Foundation.”

The search and rescue group currently has 50 members and will be recruiting a new batch of volunteers next winter.

You can learn more about Central Okanagan Search and Rescue here.


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