Volunteers Make it Happen – The Ins and Outs of Revelstoke’s Search and Rescue Team

By Giles Shearing

It’s been 10 years since I signed up as a search and rescue volunteer. Revelstoke was a good place to start this hobby I commonly refer to as boy/girl-scouts for grownups. REVSAR is one of the top 10 busiest teams in BC, with 70 call outs since January 2018 (North Shore Rescue, the province’s busiest team performs approx. 130 calls a year). And we perform these lifesaving rescue and search calls with a team of approximately 70 highly skilled mountain ninja professionals with high quality equipment specific to the task at hand. REVSAR has a number of speciality teams where members focus in on specific types of service including snowmobile rescue, swiftwater and lake rescue, helicopter long line rescue, rope rescue, avalanche and search dogs, and advanced medical first aid. These teams stem from the origins of REVSAR that started in 1952. Nowadays, the technical nature of our operations and the advanced field care we provide to our subjects continues to reach to new heights. Provincial Operating Guidelines require more annual training for specialty teams, greater experience and new equipment (e.g., vacuum mattresses, AEDs, digital radios and InReach’s for example).

In the past year, REVSAR has gone through many changes. The Revelstoke Search and Rescue Society was formed. A board was recently elected that includes two SAR members, two SAR managers and one member of the public, in this case, RCMP Staff Sergeant Kurt Grabinski. The board is elected for two years.

We have just released our new website where the public can learn more about what we do, prospective members can apply to join REVSAR and it hosts a live training calendar. Check it out at www.revsar.ca

Volunteering is in its own right a hugely important means of engaging with your community and bringing benefit…compassion in action. For REVSAR members, being a part of our society means helping those in need, locating our subjects and bringing them home to their loved ones.

We are all a community, here in Revelstoke, in BC, Canada and around the world. Looking out for one another is what makes us human. We are grateful we get to be a small part of someone’s life when they are in need.

REVSAR gets numerous requests each month to get involved. If you have spoken with your family and work and feel that you can commit to more than 2 years, we welcome you to apply through our website. REVSAR is looking for volunteers who might not go into the field but can help manage the office and equipment during and after tasks. You don’t need to be a mountain ninja to get involved!

Winter rescues

REVSAR field volunteers are trained to work in many different scenarios

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