New backcountry access quads at recent event

At the recent AGM of the Kaslo Search and Rescue Society the members heard reports from directors and officers of the organization and were able to ask about upcoming advancements to the equipment and training for one of the busiest SAR group in the Kootenays.

Once again, the group experienced a record number of calls and responded to almost 40 incidents in the region.

Current president Stefan Lettrari gave a report to the group and praised them for their commitment to training that allows them to be rescue specialists in several high discipline areas now. “Whether it is a mutual aid call, motor vehicle incident or a form of technical rescue, the team continues to excel in its commitment to training, safety and professionalism…” adding “This year’s addition of two tracked quads allows us to access remote areas beyond the forestry road network in both summer and winter giving us increased response times, which saves lives”.

Currently a new group of thirteen applicants is in the process of finishing their Ground Search and Rescue training, the basic training that allows technicians to specialize further. One new technician, Jackie Jennings-Bates said “The training really allowed me to improve my skills in the backcountry and reminded me that I am part of a small group of professionally trained volunteers who can assist in times of emergency, search or rescue.”

Recently the group was able to utilize Marine Rescue 501 affectionately known as Platypus to take a team over to Johnsons Landing to check on residents after several days of no power or road access.

The 2020 training calendar is already filling up for the group who aside from group training run individual specialist team training for mountain rescue, high angle rope rescue, swiftwater rescue and avalanche rescue. If you are interested in applying to join the group you can visit their Facebook page and inquire.

As winter comes to a close, the team would like to remind you that early spring weather cycles can mean you can easily get disoriented in the mountains or find that avalanche terrain, with changing temperatures, can suddenly become more dangerous. Make sure before you leave to look at extended weather forecasts, radar forecasts and study Avalanche Canada bulletins.

– Mark Jennings-Bates