South Shuswap First Responders looking for additional volunteers

Startled, I glanced at the radio; the distinctive and loud shriek of the tone and the following ringing alerts dispatchers

Startled, I glanced at the radio; the distinctive and loud shriek of the tone and the following ringing alerts dispatchers and responders alike of the incoming call for help.

Heart rates increase and senses sharpen. Responders are already on the move before dispatch can reply.

“This is South Shuswap First Responders. Go ahead.

Ambulance dispatch rattles off details of the call and an address to first responder dispatch who will confirm the information, pause an appropriate time and re-transmit details to responders scrambling to their vehicles,  equipment in tow.

Eight minutes from giddy-up to whoa, that’s the average overall time for the first responder to be on scene. Incredible!

No lights, no sirens, and safety at the top of the list; their quick arrival, skill and unwavering dedication boosts patient morale and odds.

The South Shuswap First Responders were called to help 288 patients in their fiscal and operational period of Oct. 2015 to Sept. 2016. They cover Squilax to Kault Hill and all points in between. Attending to four to five calls in a day is no longer uncommon.

I recently had the opportunity to learn more about the South Shuswap First Responders. I thought I had a decent understanding of what they did and how it was done, but I didn’t until I actually heard what transpired, and gave all that some thought.

Well! I now have a much truer, deeper understanding and appreciation of what these good folks actually take on.

Thank you South Shuswap First Responders for being there for us. What an excellent job you all do!

I would be proud to be a member of this team; however, a number of reasons prevents this.

But, perhaps you have given some thought to getting involved.

There couldn’t be a better time. I am certain they would welcome new members in pretty much every area covered, along with a new dispatcher or two to join the team.

South Shuswap First Responders have been dashing to emergency calls since the spring of 2001. Chances are that they have already helped someone you know. Their first call of 2017 was at 4:34 a.m. on Jan. 1.

It is very rewarding knowing you have helped save a life or intervened and prevented a bad situation from becoming a tragic situation.

Give them a call. They will respond:

For more information about the organization or to volunteer, contact Debbie Edwards at 250-675-3355  or email

Donald W. Reed


Salmon Arm Observer