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Minor incidents keep SAR crews busy in Kaslo area this month

John Boivin Local Journalism Initiative
By John Boivin Local Journalism Initiative
August 3rd, 2021

Kaslo Search and Rescue officials figured the quiet spell couldn’t last – and it didn’t.

“We had a nice break there with only one call in May and didn’t have a single call-out in June,” says KSAR team administrator Alana Jenkins. “But now we’ve had 12 calls in the last 15 days. 

“It’s been quite a stretch!”

As one of the few Search and Rescue units in the province that do road rescue work, much of the callouts came from highway situations, says Jenkins.

“The summer was busy last year as well. In 2020, we doubled the amount of calls we got in 2019,” she says. 

Thankfully, none of the incidents have been major in the last few weeks, and most people have walked away from their experience.

But there were some more challenging events for KSAR, like a lake rescue of a woman who had broken her ankle, some teens in a capsized canoe, and finding a woman lost in the woods near town.

In that latter incident, Jenkins says the person who needed help followed safety rules, making the response a lot quicker and easier.

“She was in cell phone reach, so once she realized she didn’t know where she was, she called for help and stayed in place,” she says. “She also had the right essentials with her. 

“We tracked her down, and she was able to drive away on her own, uninjured.”

Jenkins told the Valley Voice it’s the “Three Ts” that can bring better outcomes in those kinds of situations.

“Have a Trip Plan, Training, and Take the Essentials with you,” she says. “It’s a little harder in a road rescue scenario, but when you’re out hiking, make sure you leave a trip plan and you have the skills to be on the trail you’re on, and bring the essentials with you.”

While the summer tourist rush will likely keep Kaslo SAR busy, Jenkins says they have a solid complement that can manage the stress and workload.

“We’re sitting right now with roughly 35 members,” says Jenkins. “They are a great group that are really committed. They show up every week for training, and then some for additional training.

“Because we have a larger membership, we can rotate through, and if you can’t make the call, you can help out with cleaning up the gear and maintenance.”

The full complement has also allowed KSAR to help out neighbouring communities like Nakusp, who are dealing with people forced from their homes by the wildfires.

“We’re happy to help,” she says. “Our services are always free.”

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