For the first time in its 20-year history, British Columbia Search and Rescue (BCSARA) has released a yearly report of its operations and its numbers are eye-opening.
The report said more than 1,700 people were rescued and 1,019 lives were saved (that would have not survived with search and rescue intervention, according to BCSARA).
More than 3,400 volunteers, armed with 78 helicopters, spent more than 440,000 hours in service in 2022. That equates to 18,333 24-hour days worked.
“We’ve always known that our highly-trained volunteer ground search and rescue groups do some amazing work, but seeing it documented, in one place, really drives home just how much they do,” Dwight Yochim said, BCSARA
“I think B.C. can be very proud of the services these volunteers provide and the difference they make every single day. My sincere thanks to the 78 groups and their 3,400-plus volunteers whose dedication is an embodiment of the SAR maxim: ‘So others may live.’”
Volunteers from across the province put in serious work and responded to 1,510 incidents.
That includes volunteers in the Comox Valley, who are spending their weekends keeping up with their CPR training.
“What really amazes me from reading the annual report is … to save one life is an amazing opportunity and a gift … its a reason to be here and spend hundreds of hours (with BCSARA),” said Randy Chatterjee, a Comox Valley Search and Rescue team member.
“When search and rescue in B.C. saves a thousand lives a year … it gives me a tremendous sense of the importance of this organization.”
BCSARA previously said there was a spike in the number of operations after the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the province.
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