SAR teams hone their skills

Regional search and rescue teams in the Okanagan and Similkameen converged for an annual training day at the Summerland Rodeo Grounds on Saturday.

The event called 'SARnival,' has gone on for five years and is funded by the BC Search and Rescue Association.

It involves all rescue teams in the Okanagan Similkameen region — spanning an area from Kelowna to Osoyoos to Princeton.

Dale Jorgensen, president of Penticton Search and Rescue, said close to 40 members took part, ranging from newer members to members of 20-or-more years.

He said the training involved map and compass, GPS, extrication from the backcountry and other essential aspects of the job.

"It's not a competitive thing, it's just to hone our skills so we can continue to respond in a good fashion."

Jorgensen said this cohesive training event makes sense since search teams regularly assist with one another when needed.

"It's a valuable resource. We don't have specific borders, we move across the province as required."

There are five search and rescue teams in the Okanagan Similkameen region — part of the 80 teams across B.C. which consist of more than 2,500 volunteers altogether.

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