Two members of Quesnel Search and Rescue are now certified Advanced Swift water Rescue Technicians.
Wade Sharp, who is also the SARS Vice-President and Training Officer, said the training course was held in the Mount Robson area, the same big water that local white rafting companies operate in.
“The training we did was based on rescue scenarios that was set up by the instructor, so it could be someone stranded on a rock in the rapids or in a logjam. You’re trained to be an Incident Commander and how to lead an Advanced swift water Team just to perform the rescues in class3 whitewater during the night or the day.”
He noted that the course was also focused on leadership skills, rescue swimming, non-motorized boat handling, and identifying hazards and mitigating risks.
Sharp said safety is Quesnel Search and Rescue’s number one priority and having advanced swift water rescue technicians on the team provides them with a much higher level of knowledge and skills to maintain that priority.
“Our average call out for swift water is likely 3 to 5 times a year. We’re surrounded by tons of whitewater river systems. We have the Quesnel, the Fraser, the Cottonwood, and all the other little tributaries around where people like to recreate. Sometimes they find themselves in positions where they can’t rescue themselves so we get called in to do that rescue.”
Sharp has been on the swift water Team in Quesnel for about 7 years and when this opportunity to take that higher advanced training he and the other member took advantage of it.
“We were lucky enough to added into a course with Robson Valley SAR and we definitely learned a lot and came back with a lot of new tools and abilities to help serve our team,” Sharp said.