Golden and District Search and Rescue (GADSAR) has named a new president to succeed Shauna Speers.
Former vice-president Jordan Peterson will take over for Speers, who had served for three years prior to her decision to step down and move into a different role.
“She was doing a fantastic job. I kind of wish she was still president,” Peterson joked.
Peterson moved to Golden from Central Alberta seven years ago when a business opportunity arose for he and his friend Parker Vaile, who is the fire chief for the Nicholson Fire Deparment.
The two co-own VP Waste Solutions, and their positions as owners makes it easy for them if they are needed on a call with their respective organizations.
“Being a business owner I’m fairly flexible in responding to calls,” Peterson said.
“I’m generally able to make it to most calls if they are needing somebody.”
Peterson, an avid skier, was looking for a chance to live in a mountain town while he was living in Alberta.
When Vaile presented him with an opportunity in Golden, it became too good for him to pass up.
“I’ve been wanting to live in B.C. ever since I was young. Golden was a good opportunity to start a business,” Peterson said.
“(Parker and I) are avid skiers and we had loved Kicking Horse prior to moving here.”
In addition to skiing at the resort, he enjoys the backcountry opportunities that exist in this area but considers himself to be a cautious skier.
“If I’m going to take risks it’s going to be on a hill where there’s at least some people nearby. I’m out there to have fun and not get hurt,” he said.
Peterson joined GADSAR four years ago and has served in various positions on the organization’s executive ever since. He serves on a variety of rescue teams, including the rope and long line rescue teams.
“I’ve always been someone who wanted to help people. I was in nursing school for a couple years and (GADSAR) was kind of the natural extension,” he said. “And there’s always a little bit of an adrenaline rush with any sort of call that requires you to stay calm and keep track of your emotions.”
His new role as president will clearly have an affect on the amount of free time he has.
Peterson and his wife Laura are expecting their first child in August, so he plans to see how the first year goes as both president and a father before deciding if he is ready to commit to another one-year term.
“If I can manage it time wise, because there’s a lot going on, I’d run again. But I have to definitely keep the family in mind when it comes to that.”
The importance of GADSAR is clear for Peterson, and while he has never had to be rescued himself, he knows that without the operation, countless individuals would be left to fend for themselves every year.
“We’re starting to see an exponential increase in the amount of people heading into the back country. Without this organization there’s a lot of people left out on their own,” he said.
For that reason, Peterson is thankful for the support GADSAR has received from the people and Town of Golden, as well as the Columbia Shuswap Regional District and the group’s various other supporters.