Central Okanagan Search and Rescue (COSAR) is marking 2021 as the busiest year in its 67-year-history, following two separate rescues at Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park on Thursday (Sept. 30).
“It was a dubious milestone,” said COSAR president Brad Trites. “The huge volume of tasks is starting to take its toll.”
In 2020, the team responded to 81 emergency missions. However, the group’s 85th task of 2021 came in at around 2:30 p.m., after receiving reports of a cyclist suffering a suspected heart attack on the Kettle Valley Rail Trail.
About half an hour later, the group responded to their 86th task of the year when an adventure racer was injured on the Crawford DH Trail, about three km from the first incident. The man was transported out using Penticton Search and Rescue’s helicopter.
COSAR currently has 51 members, but is now in the process of recruiting new members until Oct. 31. Last year, COSAR said that volunteers logged over 20,000 hours.
“We are looking for people with outdoor skills, but also with availability. We expect a minimum of 200 hours of volunteer time annually and many members give five or six times that,” said Trites.
An open house is scheduled sometime in October, which will be followed by short-listing interviews, reference checks and then 90 hours of basic training. Details about the position and the application can be found at Cosar.ca.