Hope SAR needs more volunteers

A fall recruitment drive kicks off this weekend during annual open house

Hope Search and Rescue is in need of more volunteers due to declining membership over the last several years.

The team is launching a fall recruitment drive this Saturday (Sept. 13) to add new blood to the group.

“It’s a great thing to get involved in,” said HSAR president Barry Gannon, pointing out that members learn a number of skill sets when they join the team.

HSAR is currently  looking to fill eight to 12 spots to bring the total number of volunteers to 30. Currently, there’s 19 members. When the numbers drop, the team usually relies on nearby SAR teams for mutual aid during a callout.

“We like to ensure we have at least 10 people at any given time that can respond to a search or rescue,” said Gannon.

The team is also holding an open house information session at the Hope Search and Rescue base on Sept. 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Current members of the SAR team will deliver a short presentation, answer questions, and accept applications in person.

Gannon said there’s a couple of things interested applicants should keep in mind: the more outdoor skill sets the better, and members need to have some of their own equipment. Hope SAR does supply equipment after recruits go through the year-long ground search and rescue training.

In addition to the search and rescue component of Hope SAR, the team does vehicle extrication on the five major highways passing through the community, making it one of the busiest teams in the province.

The deadline for applications is Sept. 30, with interviews to follow shortly after.

Applications can be submitted online at http://hopesar.vr-sar.org/apply