Who we are and what we do
Founded in 1973. Oliver and Osoyoos Search and Rescue is an initial response team made up of approximately 30 volunteers. Members are all Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) trained with a few members still at the Member-In-Training stage.
So, What Is SEARCH AND RESCUE and What Do We Do?
Search and Rescue is divided into three basic categories, Air, Marine, and Ground and Inland Waters. Oliver Osoyoos Search and Rescue is only involved in Ground and Inland Water responses within our boundaries. Our response area includes the Canada/USA border to the South, Vaseaux Lake to the North, Mount Kobau and Orofino Mountain to the West, and Conkle Lake to the east. As members of a Provincal Response Team through Emergency Management BC (EMBC), we are sometimes required to provide mutual aid response elsewhere in the province and to RCMP and Regional Governments during civil emergencies.
SAR Personnel in British Columbia are unpaid professional Volunteers.
There are 79 Search and Rescue (SAR) groups in B.C. They are maintained and coordinated by the Emergency Management BC (EMBC). It does this as part of its overall responsibility for emergency preparedness and planning for disasters, fires, floods, earthquakes etc.
Training for SAR is developed and coordinated by the Emergency Management Division - PEP Academy at the Justice Institute of B.C. The training is standardized province wide. This means that the training a volunteer receives in one community can be transferred to another.
The basis for all SAR training is the Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) course. This course is a minimum of 75 hours and includes wilderness survival, mapping, compass and GPS usage. The GSAR course provides an overview and introduction to all aspects of GSAR and provides in-depth coverage of the basic skills required, such as map and compass. In addition to the topics in the GSAR manual, volunteers are expected to complete a standard First Aid course, participate in a Mock Search, and participate in two 48 hour camp-outs, one in the winter, and one in the summer.
Once a volunteer is certified in GSAR, he or she may take further training and become certified in a variety of different specialties as listed below. Many of these specialties also have increasing levels of training, proficiency and leadership.
• Avalanche Rescue
• Rope Rescue
• Swiftwater Rescue
• Helicopter External Transport System (HETS)
• Ice Rescue
• SAR Manager
• Team Leader
• GSAR Instructor