Funding brings sigh or relief for Penticton Search and Rescue

Province announces a funding injection for operations, equipment and training

With their task load doubling over the past few years, Penticton Search and Rescue are breathing a sigh of relief after the province announced a funding injection for operations, equipment and training.

“What that means is that over the years our teams, and teams around the province, are doing more fundraising and looking for grants. As volunteers we want to train and prepare for events when people need help and not spend so much time fundraising with our hands out,” said PENSAR manager Randy Brown. “It takes away our focus, but I do have to say everyone is dedicated and no one has complained about it.”

READ ALSO: Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The money is earmarked for 80 search and rescue teams, consisting of 2,500 volunteers, from around the province to replace equipment, bolster training and operations.

It comes at the perfect time for PENSAR, who are planning to build up their team numbers from 38 people back to 50. Brown said they lose and gain people from year-to-year, meaning they need to continue to train and re-certify for swift-water training and other skills — especially as a greater number of people are getting outdoors.

READ ALSO: Penticton SAR team helicopters injured climber to safety

“More people are coming to the South Okanagan and getting more confident using GPS and venturing in the backcountry. We have world-class climbing here, mountain biking trails and our tasks have gone up from averaging 34 per year to 60. We have also increased the technical things we do and 75 per cent of most activities are medically related, someone that has injured themselves in the backcountry,” said Brown.

READ ALSO: Bucket list pays dividends for Penticton Search and Rescue

One day after the funding announcement, PENSAR attended to a 30-year-old woman who broke her leg at the Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park and a helicopter long-line evacuation team was needed.

“We deployed teams to get there to help this young lady and the helicopter extraction team and it was seamless for us. That is all due to the volunteers being able to practice their efficiency at assisting in situations like this,” said Brown. “This funding helps us expand our helicopter evacuation team to keep us on top of our game.”

Brown added that he, and the rest of the volunteers, are humbled and thankful every time someone steps forward with a donation.

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

RDOS board remuneration, expenses come to $500,000

Costs presented in Statement of Financial Information

Summerland Ornamental Gardens holds fall plant sale

Event will be held Saturday, Sept. 21

Reason to Smile: Tim Hortons cookie campaign benefits school breakfast program

The smile cookie campaign runs Sept. 13 - 22 at participating Tim Hortons from Summerland to Osoyoos

LocoLanding flowers brighten seniors’ day in Penticton

The many flowers that bloom in LocoLanding during the summer brighten the day for seniors

Man cycles across B.C. Interior for sobriety

Vancouver Island Resident Mat Fee is approaching the final phase of his cross-Canada bike journey to raise awareness about addiction recovery.

‘It’s almost surreal’: Penticton fire chief, sidekick Sammy recap rescue mission in Bahamas

Chief Larry Watkinson and Sam the disaster dog spent 8 days assisting a search and rescue team

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Victoria father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Vancouver police could be using drones to fight crime by end of year

The police department has already purchased three drones, as well as three others for training

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Okanagan ski racer chosen for grant in end game

Makena Kersey, 18, has called it a career following a gruesome leg injury, but story inspires grant

North Okanagan’s own CSI digging into crime mysteries

Forensic Identification Section a specialized support unit used in various cases

Most Read