Rio Tinto and the T2 Project recently donated a dozen avalanche transceivers which Director and Search Manager Bob Holowenko said are much-needed pieces of equipment.
“Our provincial Operating guidelines for Search and Rescue in BC do require that anyone who is going into terrain that may be considered avalanche terrain must be wearing an avalanche transceiver. So it’s a very vital piece of equipment that we can’t go into avalanche terrain without.”
He added that this donation is incredibly timely as they’re currently in the process of rebuilding their Winter Response Team.
“This donation for us removes a major financial barrier as these devices are quite expensive to purchase brand new and without them, we can’t respond into those areas with many people.” Holowenko said, “We do but in order to have enough for a team this has made it possible for Quesnel Search and Rescue’s Winter Response Team to train and go into avalanche territory in large numbers. “
How the donation came about, he said a notification went out to groups in the North who have avalanche terrain in their jurisdiction, and if anyone was interested to apply to respond to an email.
“We were basically chosen on an as-needed basis because Quesnel is in the process of rebuilding our Winter Response Team we were seen as a great candidate because currently, we did not have many of these devices,” Holowenko noted.
In addition to getting these avalanche transceivers, Quesnel Search and Rescue also purchased 2 mountain snowmobiles and outfitted their side-by-side unit which acts as an emergency transport vehicle with snow tracks so they can take it into the backcountry.
“We were thrilled and really appreciate this very kind donation from Rio Tinto and the P2 Project.
They had a roadway up to a project site that had 20-plus avalanche chutes along the road so every single one of their employees that was going to and from this work site was required to wear an avalanche transceiver, and now with project complete, these devices no longer had a purpose and they were very generous in sharing with many groups throughout the province” Holowenko said.