Hug a S&R tech

Search and Rescue Technicians Should Be Compensated

Earlier this year, the provincial government did a U turn on taking away funding from what is one of the most important emergency functions in B.C. —  Search and Rescue. 

The disciplines of your local search and rescue team are many.

More than likely they are trained and qualified in many dangerous skills including:

  • Swiftwater Rescue
  • Mountain Rescue
  • Helicopter Long Line Rescue
  • Glacier Rescue
  • Avalanche Rescue
  • Ground Search and Rescue
  • Steep Angle Rescue

Additionally, some local teams will also do motor-vehicle Incidents in their region and can extricate you from a vehicle, provide first responder first aid and stabilize your car that may have ended up down a steep bank. 

To do this, a lot of recurrent training and technical equipment is needed so when the provincial government announced it was ceasing funding, the natural question among SAR volunteers was:

“why am I doing this”?

The answer is simple, because, like the military, fire department, police and ambulance personnel, they cannot walk past someone in need of help. 

Unlike all of the above, however, they are not paid.

It is a 100% volunteer system. 

I guess, it has become a habit to volunteer to perform one of the most critically needed services in B.C.

In fact, B.C., because of our mountainous and swift river environment, is a leader in search and rescue industry worldwide.

The problem is, it is not an industry here. It is a hobby.

Volunteers commit hundreds of hours a year to training and put themselves at risk to become skilled at disciplines that allow them to rescue an injured or lost person in a very challenging environment. 


  • your mother is missing from her home after going for a walk
  • your son is trapped on a log jam in a river
  • you are stuck in a mountain environment after getting lost

you will be glad that an extremely well-trained volunteer technicians show up with a smile on their face, some specialist equipment, warm food and perhaps even builds a shelter for you to survive one more night in the bush. 

“Thank you” is good enough for the army of volunteers, but we should never ever consider pulling funding for training and equipment in B.C. 


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About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for more than 40 years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business.

He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the U.K. in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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