Nicola Valley Search and Rescue team recruiting in Merritt

By on October 6, 2017
Members of the Nicola Valley Search and Rescue team drilled on their rope rescue techniques on Thursday evening. (Cole Wagner/Herald).

Members of the Nicola Valley Search and Rescue (NVSAR) team hope to rope in a couple new rescuers this year at an open house scheduled for Oct. 18.

Those that attend will have a chance to learn more about the multiple types of rescues that the NVSAR team is trained in. Search and rescue team members will be on hand to answer any questions that prospective rescuers might have about the program, which is staffed entirely by volunteers.

“We also have room for members who do not wish to go out in the woods,” explained search manager Lynne Broekhuizen at a rope rescue demonstration on Oct. 5. “We have a need in the command centre.”

Other positions with the NVSAR require volunteers to complete training courses, in order to be familiarized with different types of rescues, explained Broekhuizen. Within the NVSAR, volunteers are trained to perform rescue operations on land, water, steep cliffs, in avalanche terrain, on swift moving water and on the ice, said Broekhuizen.

In addition to rope rescues, the NVSAR teams can also be trained to perform water and ice-based rescues. (Cole Wagner/Herald).

“We like people to come out — a good start would be to come out on the sixteenth, have a look around,  meet some people and say ‘That’s not a bad group, let’s see what we can do,’” recommended the search manager. “We suggest people join and be around us for a while before they take the ground search and rescue [course].”

As far as the time commitment, Broekhuizen said most team members commit about 100 hours per year to the organization — some more, some less.

The open house will start at 6 p.m. at the NVSAR’s headquarters at the Merritt airport on Oct. 18, with the information session starting at 7 p.m.

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