Laurel White and her father Rick White are, respectively, a captain and chief of Central Cariboo Search and Rescue here in Williams Lake. Laurel was recently appointed to her position and is now one of the youngest people to ever receive the title within CCSAR. Patrick Davies photo.

Laurel White becomes one of CCSAR’s youngest captains ever

She aspires to be chief one day to be able to better help people within the community

This fall Central Cariboo Search and Rescue appointed Laurel White as one of their youngest captains ever to serve under her father, chief Rick White.

Laurel, 22, has been an official member of CCSAR for the last two and a half years and grew up around the rescue hall throughout her childhood, as her father Rick is a longtime member of the organization. When not volunteering her time at CCSAR Laurel works as a harm reduction co-ordinator at the Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake. She said that she’s very lucky her job has the flexibility to allow her to drop whatever she’s doing when an emergency call comes in and “race out the door like a crazy person.”

CCSAR is split into two main teams, Laurel said, including their land, search and rescue team for lost hikers and other similar emergencies and their auto-extraction team who responds to car accidents. Laurel works with the auto extraction team and their flat ice rescue team when individuals fall through the ice.

Read More: CCSAR members hone flat ice rescue skills

“I like the atmosphere of CCSAR. I like to help people, that’s always been in my nature… I originally did want to do something in the medical field but I was fortunate enough to get my start at the Boys and Girls Club which is my dream job, working in that field,” Laurel said.

Hearing and seeing how much she can help people both in her job and work in CCSAR is what makes everything Laurel does worth it, she said. Being the person that’s there for people during their worst time, like when being cut out of a car wreck, is incredibly rewarding.

The promotion to captain has been very exciting for Laurel as she enjoys being put into a new role with more responsibility that requires her to learn more about helping others.

“Being a captain is huge to me. You get a lot more responsibility, you’re someone who people look up to… if chief Rick isn’t on the scene, or one of our chiefs isn’t on the scene, you step up and take the incident command lead,” Laurel said. “I eventually, one day, would like to be chief of search and rescue. One day, I will be there.”

Laurel views CCSAR as a second family that’s always there for you and she thinks that what it stands for and provides the community is absolutely amazing.

Her father, Rick, meanwhile, has been a member of CCSAR for 23 years and said this promotion came about after a couple of their captains moved away. While thinking about who to make captain it was other CCSAR members, not him, who thought of and suggested Laurel first.

“I was a little bit shocked at it because I’m her dad and I seemed to think she wasn’t ready and I don’t want to create favouritism,” Rick said. “So I phoned a few other members and they agreed she was ready.”

Read More: CCSAR recruiting new members, hosting open house Saturday Feb. 9

Since joining after the wildfires of 2017, Laurel has been a solid member of the team, Rick said, that brings a lot of assets and skills to the table. Her career in counselling has made her able to easily, calmly and quietly explain situations to people during a rescue, making things easier for everyone.

After consulting with more members, Rick decided to give her the nod and promote her to captain. While he said it’s strange sometimes to be working with her, he’s proud of all she’s accomplished in such a short period of time.

Upon hearing of her aspirations to be chief, Rick chuckled and said she has a ways to go yet but that one day he thinks she will be ready.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Keeping workers safe is crucial in times of COVID-19’: Hospital Employees’ Union

Cannot fight a virus without housekeeping in hospitals, care homes, said Jennifer Whiteside

Salute to Cariboo Place health care workers planned for April 3

Vantage Living is inviting people to show their support

CN suspending service between Williams Lake and Squamish, effective April 3

Rail traffic north of Williams Lake will be routed to Vancouver through Prince George and Kamloops

COVID-19: Quesnel’s Billy Barker Days Festival will happen but may be delayed and look different

‘It will be something different than it has been in other years,’ say organizers

VIDEO: Williams Lake teachers reach out to students on first week back to school without them

“These schools are really, really big empty buildings without you here”

From inside the ER: B.C. doctor tells it like it is from the frontlines of COVID-19

‘Stay home. It’s working,’ says ER doctor in a Q&A discussion, ‘And please don’t worry.’

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Dogs are property, not kids, B.C. judge tells former couple

Court decision made on competing lawsuits over Zeus and Aurora — a pit bull and pit bull cross

B.C. senior gives blood for 200th time, has ‘saved’ 600 lives

There was no cutting of cake for Harvey Rempel but he’s challenging youth to start donating blood

Trudeau commits $100M to help food banks amid COVID-19 crisis

Funds will help ‘urgent food needs’ for Canadians awaiting federal emergency benefits to kick in

Couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas: Cowichan by-law

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

How well can cell phones carry COVID-19? Disinfecting may be wise

‘You want to keep it as clean as you would normally your hands’

3M pushes back on Trump administration call to stop sending N95 masks to Canada

3M says it has already been turning out as many of the N95 masks as possible

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Most Read