Laurel White of the Central Cariboo Search and Rescue was born and raised in Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo)

THIS IS OUR HOMETOWN: Laurel White of Central Cariboo Search and Rescue

‘We are truly lucky to live here,’ says Laurel White of Williams Lake

It’s the small community atmosphere that keeps 22-year-old Laurel White content to live, work and volunteer in her hometown.

“I love how you can go to the grocery store and see familiar faces instead of strangers and how absolutely breathtaking and beautiful it is in the Williams Lake area,” she said. “We are truly lucky to live here.”

One of the youngest captains ever to volunteer with Central Cariboo Search and Rescue, where her father Rick White has been the Chief for several years, White was born and raised here.

She grew up playing hockey and rugby and now works as the harm-reduction co-ordinator for the Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake and District.

During the COVID-19 pandemic she has been working from home. She does communication by phone and computer.

“If a client needs any harm reduction supplies, a socially-distanced drop off will be arranged.”

When asked what the most challenging thing has been through the pandemic White said having to adapt that CCSAR is abstaining from having rescue practices.

Due to safety measures, CCSAR has divided itself up into teams and as a result crew members take turns being on call.

“It is difficult not being able to see our CCSAR family during the week and come together to practise our skills for the things we love.”

Read more: Central Cariboo Search and Rescue implements adaptive measures for COVID-19 response

The pandemic has her excited and nervous for what the world will be like when COVID-19 does finally come to an end, she added.

Last Saturday White and her dad stood outside Cariboo Memorial Hospital waiting for the second, first responder siren and light salute to health care workers to arrive.

Fifteen minutes before it was to start, a dispatch call came through for an incident off the Spokin Lake Road.

It was a reminder that these volunteers offer so much dedication to the rest of the community.

When asked what silver lining has emerged through the last four weeks she replied, the most uplifting thing she has seen is how during a time that people are socially distancing they are still coming together at a distance as communities rally together to say thank you to all essential service people braving this pandemic on the front lines every day.

White joined search and rescue three years ago and told the Tribune in a recent interview she does aspire to one day become chief.

Read more: Laurel White becomes one of CCSAR’s youngest captains ever

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