KSAR on track for record year despite quiet summer

By Jill Sperling
September 11, 2017 - 3:39pm Updated: September 11, 2017 - 6:03pm

KAMLOOPS — Kamloops Search and Rescue is closing in on a record year. 

"Definitely it's been the busiest year so far," said Search Manager Alan Hobler. "We're currently at 35 call outs for the year, and 39 is our highest year ever, so we're only four call outs from beating our record."

Hobler says it's difficult to pinpoint exactly what is driving those numbers.

"We've been seeing more and more frequent call outs, and it's really hard to attribute that to any one thing," he said, adding, "we get called out for a whole variety of things, and it changes. Some seasons are busy, some aren't."

While the year as a whole has been busy, summer was quiet for Kamloops Search and Rescue. 

Hobler says that may have had something to do with the smoky skies and closures of many nature parks and backcountry trails.

However, the instense wildfires burning around the region kept Kamloops Search and Rescue members on their toes.

"We were up in Clearwater assisting delivering evacuation alerts and evacuation orders, and then as well as we were prepared for doing evacuation alerts here in Kamloops, but fortunately it never got to that point," Hobler said.

With the wildfire season nearing its end the brief reprieve in tasks could be over. Hobler is concerned about the impact this near-record year could have on membership. 

"Burning out members is one thing we have to be careful of, so far I think everybody's doing good," Hobler said. "We are looking for new members this fall as well. In September we're hoping to do a new uptake, and run new training in November, December."

If the trend of higher call volumes continues the new recruits will have to be prepared to spend many hours saving lives in harsh conditions and difficult terrain. 

Plenty of people and pooches at SPCA's annual 'Paws for a Cause'