The Golden and District Search and Rescue Association (GADSAR) recently spent three days training to help be prepared for whenever they are needed.
GADSAR was established in 1965 and currently provides both search and rescue and road rescue services for the Golden area.
“We provide search and rescue services to the park boundaries north, east and west of Golden and Spillimacheen to the south. We provide road rescue services south to Spillimacheen, east to Field and west to Rogers Pass. We are the sole provider of swift water, ice, cliff, avalanche and embankment rescue in the area. We work closely with the RCMP, BCAS, Golden Fire, KHMR, Parks Canada and the BC Coroner Service,” said GADSAR member Shauna Speers.
Currently there are 25+ members working with the group in a variety of ways.
Practice sessions like the one recently held are vital to the group.
“It is very important to practise our skill set on a regular basis. GADSAR meets every Thursday and does training in different disciplines on those evenings,” Speers said. “We have more extensive training held on an annual basis to ensure people keep practised in all disciplines. All GADSAR members are required have an 80 hour first aid course, professional avalanche training is an asset as is ropes, mountain travel, and swift water experience.”
On average the GADSAR group receives over 90 calls a year.
Speers explained, “Golden is a recreational destination for many people in countless disciplines. It is very important that in an effort to support local businesses that the area provides trained emergency services to aid people in their time of need…Providing search and rescue services to ALL individuals is vital to creating a safe and viable recreational and business framework within the Golden area. Providing road rescue services on the Trans Canada Hwy is also a very important function of our team and necessary to keeping this major thoroughfare safer to travel.”
As for what it is like being a member of the group Speers said, “The core group of volunteers at GADSAR are amazing individuals and the training that is provided has allowed many people to improve on old skills and learn new ones.”
The group is currently looking for volunteers and “ As long as you have an 80 hour first aid ticket, a love of the outdoors, a reasonable level of fitness, and are keen on learning new things than we are keen to have you. Meetings are Thursday nights at 1930 hours at the GADSAR Airport Facility,” Speers said.