A Rover Scout with the 1st Port Hammond Alouettes as a 16-year-old, Coldstream’s Pete Wise vividly and clearly remembers his first search and rescue call-out with the man who got him interested in the organization, Bud DeWolfe.
Based out of Maple Ridge, DeWolfe and the Alouettes were asked by civil defence if they could get a man that was stuck on a mountainside.
“Bud took me under his wing. I was a bush baby and running with him was the best thing I ever did,” said Wise, 72, who was honoured Saturday in the Fraser Valley with a Lifetime membership in the B.C. Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA).
“We got the guy off the mountain. I remember it with great clarity.”
Since then, Wise has spent more than 55 years with search and rescue in the province.
A member of Vernon Search and Rescue, Wise is one of the founding members of the Search and Rescue Advisory Council (now known as BCSARA). He also helped develop a number of the SAR courses and policies organizations like Vernon rely on today.
Madeline Maley, Emergency Management BC assistant deputy minister Response Operations, recognized Wise for his 55 years of service as a Public Safety Lifeline Volunteer, and Chris Kelly, the president of the BC Search and Rescue Association, presented him with a Lifetime Honorary Membership to BCSARA due to his significant contribution to SAR in B.C.
“The honour is being bestowed upon Pete for his more than 55 years of service as a volunteer in B.C., providing valued input as a regional director on the BCSARA board from 1994 to 2001 and returning for two additional terms, stepping in to ensure representation for the region,” said Kelly. “He is also being recognized for his contributions to the development of the health and safety program for SAR volunteers, specifically on the carrying of firearms, wildlife safety and the hazards of rodent diseases.”
Wise was also acknowledged for providing subject matter expertise in the development of new, and revisions of existing, training programs throughout the Justice Institute of B.C., and his outstanding contributions in promoting outdoor safety through training programs for industries and other organizations.
“It’s fantastic,” said Wise upon returning home from the presentation Sunday. “It hasn’t really set in yet. But it’s pretty cool.”
A handful of VSAR members, along with members of Wise’s family, were on hand to join him for the Lifetime membership presentation.