Volunteer rescuers in Vernon will soon be saving those in distress by means of mountain bikes.
With the help of a $1,000 donation from the North Okanagan Cycling Society (NOCS), Vernon Search and Rescue (VSAR) is able to get a new mountain bike rescue crew rolling that will strengthen their efforts in heavily-wooded areas.
“VSAR is clearly an invaluable resource for our community, and has, in the past, come to the rescue of mountain bikers and trail builders in distress,” said Dan Poulin, NOCS president.
“We are pleased to help them add mountain bikes, which gives us so much enjoyment, to their toolkit so that they can continue to help people and save lives.”
Although their current rescue equipment includes a helicopter, a boat, all-terrain vehicles, and snowmobiles, mountain bikes will allow VSAR to swiftly rescue individuals in heavily-wooded terrain that would otherwise be covered on foot.
“A good number of our rescues each year happen on or near the established mountain bike trails,” said Trevor Honigman with VSAR. “With the growing popularity of mountain biking in the region, the number of trails is increasing annually, which further increases the value of having an established bike team as part of our Search and Rescue unit.”
Both organizations work tirelessly to make Vernon a fun and safe place to live and visit.
For volunteer opportunities with either NOCS or VSAR, please visit www.okcycling.com or www.vernonsar.ca respectively.