For the first time Central Cariboo Search and Rescue is hosting a recruitment drive event outside a shopping mall instead of at its hall.
Members will be set up at the Williams Lake Sport Chek at Prosperity Ridge on Saturday, Aug. 26, from 10 a.m to 2 p.m.
“We decided we wanted to get out to the people,” said Debra Bortolussi, communications spokesperson for CCSAR.
“The open house will be an opportunity for people to find out what we do, even if they don’t want to become a member they are welcome to come and ask us questions.”
During the event members of the land SAR and the auto extrication team will be there doing demonstrations, there will be a gear display for things such as swift water rescue and rope rescue as well as some CCSAR swag giveaways.
Retaining members has not been an issue but getting new members has been a challenge, Bortolussi said.
“Getting volunteers is not as easy as it used to be.”
Bortolussi has been a member since she turned 19 and described the organization like “family.’
“We have so much love for each other. It really is a great way to get out and meet like-minded people.”
Even if people have zero experience all the training is paid for, she noted.
As a full-time paramedic for BC Emergency Health Services, she said becoming a CCSAR member definitely inspired her career path.
CCSAR also has a junior program for youths aged 16 to 19.
“We’ve had truly amazing youth come through the program,” she said, adding some of the young people who joined the junior program are now regular members.
In June and July, CCSAR responded to 25 auto extrication calls and five land search and rescue callouts.