The search is on, but itâ€™s not for an overdue hiker or missing camper. Cowichan Search and Rescue is spending the holidays searching for new members to join their team.
Cowichan SAR operates under the mission statement: "Professionally trained volunteers dedicated to bringing people home. Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere" but bringing people home safely takes manpower, plain and simple.
Cowichan SAR was founded in 1962 and incorporated as a registered non-profit society in 1992. Currently the group boasts 40 members, but new ones are always welcome.
The next new member training program begins mid-January and runs through June the SAR volunteer group would like to fill that class.
â€œBeing part of Search and Rescue is a big commitment, but it’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve been involved with,â€ said Mitch Wright, vice-president of Cowichan SAR. â€œVolunteers in groups all across B.C. give hundreds of hours individually every year so they are trained to the highest standards and ready when needed. It usually means giving up time with our own families, but every SAR volunteer does it because they are passionate about their communities and care about bringing people home to their families and loved ones.â€
Applicants will be required to provide a current driver’s abstract and have a criminal record check completed and must be prepared to get to know their teammates as they train at least twice a month between September and June; a couple hours on the first Tuesday evening of each month, and a little bit longer one weekend day later in the month. Members are asked to attend 60 per cent of those sessions.
Specialty teams train additional hours on a regular basis, often weekly, and are voluntary membership once individuals have GSAR certification.
Those interested in learning more about the program or who would like to apply must email firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Jan. 7.