The purpose of this web site is to expose the Shuswap Volunteer Search & Rescue (SVSAR) organization to the public and to inform and educate about the structure, responsibilities and capabilities of the Team.
About UsSVSAR has served the citizens and visitors of the Shuswap region since the late 1970's, but has been registered as a non-profit society since 1990. Our volunteers consist of approximately 40 individuals, from varying backgrounds including, but not limited to, Farming, Forestry, and Information Technology. One thing in common with all of our volunteers is a love and respect of the outdoors, and a desire to give back to the community. SVSAR is one of more than 80 Volunteer Search Organizations sanctioned by the provincial government to carry out ground and inland water Search & Rescue (SAR) operations. SVSAR is composed of volunteers who possess good local terrain knowledge and are trained and certified for deployment in a variety of tasks under various conditions and in difficult terrain, including technical mountain environments. See the Tech Talk page for more details.
ResponsibilitiesThe overall responsibility for search and rescue on land and in inland waters in British Columbia, other than within national parks, rests with the Province. This responsibility is delegated to police agencies with jurisdiction in a particular area: either to municipal police services or the RCMP. When conducting a search, the police have the ability to request assistance from a volunteer Search & Rescue organization.
The activities of SAR organizations are formally supported by Emergency Management BC (EMBC), a division of the Ministry of Public Safety. EMBC supports Search & Rescue volunteers by providing them with training, workers compensation coverage while on a task, civil liability coverage, and reimbursement for some task-specific operational expenses. In order to supplement the funding support provided by EMBC, SAR organizations are responsible for carrying out their own fundraising activities necessary to sustain the individual group's operations. See the Contacts page for more details.
For further information about the structure and responsibilities of SAR in British Columbia, please see BC SAR Info page.