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Salt Spring Search and Rescue

We are Salt Spring Search and Rescue

Salt Spring Island Search & Rescue has been active in our community since 1989. We are a dedicated group of approximately 40 unpaid professional volunteers trained to search for, rescue and assist missing persons.  Our members are highly skilled in teamwork, ground search tactics, first aid, wilderness navigation, tracking, survival, radio communications, high-angle rope rescue, and helicopter safety.

We serve Salt Spring Island and the surrounding Southern Gulf Islands. We also respond to mutual aid requests from neighbouring SAR groups on Vancouver Island and mainland BC.

Salt Spring SAR is the perfect volunteer vocation for islanders with a passion for the outdoors who are eager to challenge themselves, in a friendly and supportive environment.

Lost, injured, or facing natural disaster, we are here 24/7, 365 days/year with NO COST for SAR Services.

  

SAR has successfully completed fundraising for our new Command Vehicle

Many thanks to all generous donors including 100 Women Who Care, The Royal Canadian Legion, Country Grocer, Foundations and individuals.

The Past


1998 Converted Grumman Bread Van

The current 24 year-old Command Vehicle (CV) has been invaluable over two decades but has reached the end of its useful service. It has been out-of-service frequently and is incapable of accessing many of the areas where searches are required.

While the CV has been able to accommodate up to four management staff, it is clearly an outdated design due to increased demands from a functional standpoint.

The Future

2022 Ford F550 with custom-built Incident Command Box

The new Command Vehicle (CV) will have significant technical and safety up-grades including 4-wheel drive that will greatly expand the areas under which the CV can be deployed.

A reputable manufacturer is now building the new Command Vehicle based on a proven design used by other SAR groups.

The CV will be the operations hub of all search, rescue and emergency activities on Salt Spring and other Southern Gulf Islands.

Membership

Membership Recruitment
contact us for more information

Learn rewarding new skills in first aid, wilderness survival and high-angle rope rescue

Save lives and reunite lost people with their family and friends

Join a friendly, enthusiastic group of islanders who are committed to ongoing personal development and community support

Challenge yourself to try something new while helping others on Salt Spring Island and beyond

Be part of an effort that unites more than 3,000 volunteers from all walks of life in 79 SAR groups across British Columbia

SAR on Facebook
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July 4th, 2024, Salt Spring #SAR #volunteers continue to support Cowichan Search & Rescue’s search efforts in the Youbou area of Lake Cowichan.Cowichan SAR continues to search in the Youbou area today, with assistance from SAR teams from around the Island totalling roughly three dozen searchers. Despite extensive efforts by SAR and community volunteers since June 30, the search has not resulted in any clues so far. The last confirmed sighting of the 38-year-old man was July 1. (GPS search tracks submitted by the community to task@cowichansar.org are being viewed and added to our files, but please do not expect a reply. Thank-you.) ... See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago
July 4th, 2024, Salt Spring #SAR #volunteers continue to support Cowichan Search & Rescue’s search efforts in the Youbou area of Lake Cowichan.

... See MoreSee Less

3 weeks ago

June 30th, 2024

#ssisar ‘s high angle #roperescue team was out training today in preparation for an upcoming complex rope rescue and medical #SAR Exercise!

A scenario involving two climbers requiring rescue while on a vertical face, with competing priorities and injuries, requiring technical rope techniques.

Always practicing to improve our skills for these complex situations!

#teamwork #professionalvolunteers
#saltspring

#nocostforrescue
... See MoreSee Less

3 weeks ago
June 30th, 2024 

#SSISAR ‘s high angle #roperescue team was out training today in preparation for an upcoming complex rope rescue and medical #SAR Exercise!

A scenario involving two climbers requiring rescue while on a vertical face, with competing priorities and injuries, requiring technical rope techniques.

Always practicing to improve our skills for these complex situations!

#teamwork #professionalvolunteers 
#saltspring

#nocostforrescueImage attachment
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Training

Ground Search & Rescue

All SAR members take an minimum 80-hour course when they join the team. This course includes the fundamental training in the following areas:

search types and techniques

wilderness navigation (map, compass, GPS)

survival skills / personal preparedness

communications

rope management

rescue techniques

basic tracking

helicopter safety

basic avalanche awareness

basic swift water rescue

Our Mandate

Salt Spring Island Search and Rescue (SAR) Society operates under the oversight of the Emergency Management BC (EMBC) program. We operate with dedicated volunteers trained to find and help missing or lost individuals, as well as provide assistance during natural disasters like forest fires and earthquakes.

We are responsible for wilderness and urban ground Search and Rescue missions, including inland waters and tidal shorelines.

Our primary geographic area of responsibility is Salt Spring Island and the southern Gulf Islands, which includes Galiano, Mayne, Pender, Saturna, and more than 50 smaller islands in the vicinity. We also provide mutual aid support to other SAR groups in British Columbia, as requested.

SAR members are skilled in first aid, tracking, wilderness navigation and survival, radio communications, high-angle rope rescue and helicopter safety. The group has been active since 1989 and our team has approximately 40 men and women, ranging in ages from 25 to 70.