Chilliwack Search and Rescue en route by helicopter to help an injured hiker on Sumas Mountain. (Chilliwack SAR photo)

Chilliwack Search and Rescue needs a few new members

An info sesssion at City Hall is set for Jan. 27 to recruit new members-in-training

Chilliwack Search and Rescue is ready to recruit a handful of new members.

“We are looking to add five to seven members-in-training to the team,” said CSAR resource member Brennan Kish.

A recruitment event is set for Jan. 27 at city hall.

Chilliwack Search and Rescue is one of the busiest and highly trained search and rescue teams in B.C., and last year, the high call volume kept members hopping.

“It has been a very busy year, with no signs of slowing down in 2018,” said Kish.

There are 51 members right now, with four resource members.

“Since joining the team last year as a resource member, I have had the opportunity to see firsthand how cohesive and dedicated our members are,” Kish told The Progress. “This diverse group of highly trained, professional volunteers is incredible to be a part of.”

They have the ability to take on mountain rescues, ground searches and bush-whacking in the back country. They execute swift-water rescues, and respond to calls for help in finding missing hikers, youths, or seniors.

They are trained to launch jetboat and helicopter operations, as well as avalanche and Class D fixed-line rope rescues.

“We’re looking for people who live and work in Chilliwack, are physically fit with a passion for the outdoors, and able to drop everything and go if paged to a call out,” said Kish.

“It takes a solid commitment from each volunteer member of more than 350 hours per year.”

Availability on Wednesday nights for training is mandatory for MITs.

The multi-disciplinary SAR team was called out 73 times to complete tasks in 2017. Up until about 2004, the annual average was more like 45 to 60 tasks per year, but it’s been as high as 86 in recent years.

The local team also earned an international incident award in 2017 from the Higgins and Langley Memorial Awards for a successful swift water rescue in Chehalis River Canyon the year before.

SEE MORE: CSAR wins award

CSAR covers a wide-range of high-use recreation and back country areas, including the Chilliwack-Vedder and Fraser River systems.

SEE MORE: CSAR 2016 recruitment

A CSAR recruiting event is slated for Saturday, January 27 at City Hall (8550 Young Road) for anyone interested in becoming a MIT in 2018, with a presentation followed by a short Q&A period. Doors open at 10:30 a.m., with the presentation at 11 a.m. to noon.

“Immediately after the presentation, an application (form) will be made available online, until February 4,” said Kish.

See more at www.chilliwacksar.org

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