2022 04 05 | Host: Jack Schultz | Richard Reeves - Shuswap Search and Rescue
Apr 5, 2022
Jack Schultz hosted Shuswap Search and Rescue member Richard Reeves, a 38-year veteran of a wide variety of roles within SAR, the last ten years in Shuswap. When Richard gets a SAR call, he has his backpack ready, but doesn’t know if he’ll be gone for an hour, or for five days. He is one of 9,000 Canadian SAR volunteers, who all receive similar training & use the same terminology, allowing them to help each other seamlessly. In BC, we have 79 teams with 3,000 volunteers – in a typical year, they’ll rescue 2,100 people in 1,900 incidents – but this doesn’t include “recoveries.” Our BC government funds training, equipment, worker compensation, liability coverage, etc., for SAR. Callouts are initiated by the RCMP or local police, BC Ambulance, BC Coroner’s Service, Fire Departments, Parks Canada, Canadian Armed Forces, or Coast Guard, etc., following a 911 call. It typically takes about two hours from receipt of a 911 call to SAR beginning an operation. Searches include land, air and marine responses. Many are urban searches for people with dementia or disabilities. Rescues may involve ATVs, snowmobiles, helicopters, tracking, ropes, or dogs over a huge variety of terrain, including inland water or swift water. At present, most SAR teams have all the volunteers they need, through periodic intakes every two or three years. New volunteers must have at least Level 1 First Aid and pass an approved introductory SAR course. It takes at least a year of intensive work to join a SAR team. From then, extensive training is ongoing in a variety of skills. Among the best ways to avoid meeting an operating SAR team is to share your itinerary, activity & participants with family or friends, carry snacks, extra clothing, a space blanket, fire starter, flares, flashlight & communication device(s).