More than $2,000 was raised for South Cariboo Search and Rescue in a raffle at Mount Timothy Recreation Resort’s end-of-season event last weekend.
The raffle included numerous items donated by sponsors including Spectra Power Sports, South Cariboo Motor Sports, Performance All-Terrain, R&R Pro Cycle and Andres Electronics.
The grand total collected was $2,650 which will go towards SAR equipment and training, according to member Stephanie Zimmerman.
“We were recently able to put two more of our members through an Organized Avalanche Responder team-leader course,” Zimmerman said. “We’re going to be putting the money towards further training and equipment for our winter-response team.”
In addition to the raffle money, Zimmerman said the first-place winners of the Braap and Board relay race – Glen Tanner and Larry Henderson – donated $180 of their prize money to the rescue group.
It’s been a busy winter for the volunteer SAR members in the South Cariboo, Zimmerman said, noting there has been an increase in winter-related calls for snowmobilers, skiers and snowshoers who need assistance.
“The one thing we’re seeing with these calls is that people are definitely packing more of the appropriate emergency equipment with them,” Zimmerman said. “They’re not just relying on their cellphones, they have other tools with them so they’re able to message out to us when they’re in trouble.”
As a result, Zimmerman said the call responses have been somewhat faster and easier, despite the higher volume.
Training will be a big focus for the SAR members this spring and summer. New recruits will go through general Ground Search and Rescue and first aid training in the coming weeks. And Zimmerman said another group of newer members will also be taking part in the Rope Tech 1 training soon.
As the many local lakes begin to thaw this spring, SAR crews will be taking advantage of the “beautiful training ground” to undertake ice-rescue training in the coming weeks.
“It’s the perfect time of year to be practicing on the ice as it’s rotting away,” Zimmerman said. “But it’s also a good time to remind people to be cautious and really watch how thick the ice is.”
Spring weather, which can often shift in a matter of minutes, is another factor people should consider when venturing out into the South Cariboo wilderness.
“Just because it’s sunny in the morning doesn’t mean it won’t be cold or snowing in the afternoon,” Zimmerman said.
She reminds residents and visitors to pack appropriate gear, not rely solely on cellphones for communication and always let people know when and where they are going.
To find out more about the South Cariboo Search and Rescue team, call 250-395-3210 or email email@example.com
SEE related story A19