As an active volunteer in the community, I was humbled by a combined professional and volunteer effort I witnessed the night of Aug. 3.
A friend’s autistic 16-year-old son went missing on a hike about 10 kilometres south of Silver Lake at 3:30 p.m. Within 30 minutes of a call in, RCMP and Conservation Service officers were on site. Next to arrive were Chilliwack Search and Rescue, whose hikers searched on foot, in difficult terrain. Once Hope Search and Rescue finished yet another previous call, they arrived. Two helicopters had already combed the area. The boy’s father was constantly comforted and attended to. It was one thing to watch the coordination and excellence of the professionals, but it was a whole other thing to see the volunteers with both Search and Rescue outfits give of themselves in order to help others. One “call” to the next, head lamps adorned, well hydrated, off the volunteers went into the dark woods. At 11:30 p.m., the boy was found on the same road walking towards the command centre.
A storybook ending for all these people’s efforts, care, and selflessness. What tremendous citizens they all are. I had seen the 50th anniversary insert in the The Hope Standard on Hope Search and Rescue, but seeing the entire effort live was almost surreal. Hats off to these folks, and a huge thanks to every one of them!