EDITORIAL: Search and rescue units deserve praise

In the last few days, Search and Rescue crews have spent part of their holiday wading through deep snow to locate missing hikers in the Lower Mainland’s Cypress Mountain.

And that’s a scenario that could easily play out at any time in the North Okanagan as locals use the period between Christmas and New Year’s Day to pursue their passions, and particularly snowmobiling.

Up until Wednesday, Vernon Search and Rescue had responded to 77 incidents in 2016.

“It’s the busiest year ever,” said Leigh Pearson, search manager.

Whether it’s snow-covered mountains, on a glistening summer lake or in a downtown setting, SAR members are there when someone is missing or injured and requires assistance.

And an important factor to consider is that they are all volunteers. They don’t get paid a nickle except for mileage, and these volunteers put their jobs and families on hold when an emergency arises.

As we move into a new year, it’s more than likely that Vernon SAR and other units across the province will continue to be busy as more people head into the great outdoors.

We need to thank these dedicated individuals for being so committed to their community, and hopefully 2017 isn’t another record-breaker for them.


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