Yorkton-area search and rescue volunteers resume in-person training
After months of online training due to COVID-19, the Parkland Search and Rescue volunteers geared up for an in-person training at York Lake.
The team spent Monday evening using coordinates and a GPS to find points around the community in order to refine skills that can be applied to real life situations.
Although the team is based out of Yorkton and Melville, there are members from communities up to an hour away that can be dispatched any time of the day if a situation arises.
Dustin Brears, vice-president of Parkland Search and Rescue, said members are called on a volunteer basis.
“They get dispatched out in the middle of night and this is entirely on the backs of volunteers. They are not paid, but they are trained professionals,” he said.
Across the province, search and rescue is under the umbrella organization Search and Rescue Saskatchewan Association of Volunteers (SARSAV). It is the fourth emergency response team after police, fire and ambulance.
“Typically, we’ll get called by police organizations to search for missing individuals. So we show up with our equipment and our command post,” said Brears.
Ané Rootd, who has been a volunteer for three years, said she has received a lot more gratification during her years of service than she anticipated.
“Being worth something and making a change. If you make yourself available and respond to a search, you show up and you see the people who show up. It’s a bunch of people who have good intentions, who are good people and who enjoy what they do,” said Rootd.
The organization does not receive federal or provincial funding. Equipment ispurchased are donations and fundraisers. Currently, the team is looking to raise money to purchase a truck to pull the command post.