REGINA -- Amphibious Response Support Unit One is planning to build a permanent water rescue base and training centre in Echo Lake Provincial Park, making it the first dedicated base in Saskatchewan.

The base will house all the unit’s water rescue gear, as well as host diving and water rescue sessions which will be available for all.

“The training will be open for both professional and volunteer teams that would like to patriciate in these training programs,” said John Maczko with ARSU1.

The facility is slated to cost about $70,000 to $90,000 and is expected to be finished by summer 2022.

The unit said this is a very important centre to the area because of the amount of water activity there is.

“It’s crucial. The more we can practice that and hopefully we never have to execute that team for an emergency situation,” Brian Endicott, a rescue diver, said. “But we prepare as if we have to.”

The unit hopes to raise the money for the building through donations and sponsorships.

ARSU1 assists local fire departments and rescue teams in emergency situations, educates the public on water safety and helps conserve the local lakes.