Posted by Colin Heggie on Apr 27, 2021
Coralie Nairn, from Vernon Search & Rescue, was hosted by Calvin Reich.  Coralie has 32 years of experience in search & rescue, with extensive qualifications in management & instruction.  SAR functions fall under the jurisdiction of Emergency Management BC.  There are 79 BC SAR teams, with 2,500 unpaid volunteers, responding 24/365 to an average of 1,700 incidents annually.  All adhere to a strict code of conduct, receive regular training, & are reimbursed only for out-of-pocket expenses, such as gas & meals.  Callouts come from a variety of agencies, with which they work regularly – most calls come from the RCMP.  Vernon SAR has been operating since 1960, & currently has 59 volunteers, with an enviably low attrition rate.  The average call is about five hours, & 95% of subjects are found within 24 hours.  SAR specialty teams include avalanche / snowmobile, bike / ebike, tracking, helicopter winch rescue, swiftwater / jet boat, ice, technical / rope, incident command, mutual aid, education & funding.  Vernon SAR is particularly known for its snowmobile team, & for initiating BC’s first helicopter winch rescue team.  The recent addition of ebikes has significantly helped with response times.  They’ve outgrown their current facility on Hwy 6, & are on the cusp of finalizing a new location, where they hope to open in 2022.