The region’s trails and skies will be busy this weekend as dozens of search and rescue technicians and supporting agencies take to the hills for a training event.
Nanaimo Search and Rescue is hosting this year’s Rescue on the Rock, a large-scale search and rescue training event that will include 14 search and rescue teams from the Island, the Gulf Islands and Sunshine Coast. The exercise, based on a mass casualty incident, is held once every two years and will include training for ground searchers, K9 teams, rope rescue techniques and advanced first aid. B.C. Ambulance and B.C. Civil Air Search and Rescue are taking part as well.
“There’ll be 130 members out this weekend,” said Carly Trobridge, president of Nanaimo Search and Rescue. “It allows all of our groups to come together and train, especially with things like rope rescue and specialties where the criteria and process is always changing, so it allows teams that maybe don’t get a chance to work together until something big happens. It allows them to practise these things and make everything perfect and work together and learn all the intricacies of working with another team before an actual real scenario.”
SAR teams will be training in the Doumont recreation area off of Weigles Road near the Wastelands motocross track and the mountain biking trails in the area.
“There’ll be five search dogs out and about 110 [ground search and rescue] members on the trails and in the forested areas. There’ll be rope rescue scenarios set up and there’ll be low-flying aircraft as well,” Trobridge said. “That was the biggest thing we were worried about, was the aircraft, and people calling in, wondering what was going on.”
The event runs Friday to Sunday, July 13-15, from operations bases at Camp Callet on Biggs Road and the end of Weigles Road.
To learn more about Nanaimo Search and Rescue, visit www.nanaimosar.bc.ca.