Funding brings sigh or relief for Penticton Search and Rescue

Funding brings sigh or relief for Penticton Search and Rescue

Province announces a funding injection for operations, equipment and training

With their task load doubling over the past few years, Penticton Search and Rescue are breathing a sigh of relief after the province announced a funding injection for operations, equipment and training.

“What that means is that over the years our teams, and teams around the province, are doing more fundraising and looking for grants. As volunteers we want to train and prepare for events when people need help and not spend so much time fundraising with our hands out,” said PENSAR manager Randy Brown. “It takes away our focus, but I do have to say everyone is dedicated and no one has complained about it.”

READ ALSO: Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The money is earmarked for 80 search and rescue teams, consisting of 2,500 volunteers, from around the province to replace equipment, bolster training and operations.

It comes at the perfect time for PENSAR, who are planning to build up their team numbers from 38 people back to 50. Brown said they lose and gain people from year-to-year, meaning they need to continue to train and re-certify for swift-water training and other skills — especially as a greater number of people are getting outdoors.

READ ALSO: Penticton SAR team helicopters injured climber to safety

“More people are coming to the South Okanagan and getting more confident using GPS and venturing in the backcountry. We have world-class climbing here, mountain biking trails and our tasks have gone up from averaging 34 per year to 60. We have also increased the technical things we do and 75 per cent of most activities are medically related, someone that has injured themselves in the backcountry,” said Brown.

READ ALSO: Bucket list pays dividends for Penticton Search and Rescue

One day after the funding announcement, PENSAR attended to a 30-year-old woman who broke her leg at the Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park and a helicopter long-line evacuation team was needed.

“We deployed teams to get there to help this young lady and the helicopter extraction team and it was seamless for us. That is all due to the volunteers being able to practice their efficiency at assisting in situations like this,” said Brown. “This funding helps us expand our helicopter evacuation team to keep us on top of our game.”

Brown added that he, and the rest of the volunteers, are humbled and thankful every time someone steps forward with a donation.

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A property crime map for the month of March shows the hot spot for crimes is centered around the area where the Victory Church homeless shelter is located. (City Submitted)
B.C. Premier asked to intervene in Penticton homeless shelter dispute

Mayor sends letter urging premier to reconsider Eby’s use of paramountcy powers

A woman is hoping that her dog Ginger ran away from the fire that erupted in her Osoyoos home Saturday night. The home caught fire twice in two days and is totally destroyed. (Contributed)
Dog missing after saving woman from huge house fire in Osoyoos

The woman escaped the burning home, but she hopes her dog Ginger ran away to safety

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

Two vehicles were involved in a collision around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Main Street and Industrial intersection. (Jesse Day - Western News)
Traffic slow after collision at Main and Industrial in Penticton

Two vehicles were involved and first responders are on scene

RCMP. (Black Press File)
Major Crimes called in after two bodies discovered in Naramata

A manhunt involving a police helicopter took place on May 10

Sisters Audrey Cunningham and Donna Erdman, join the Vernon Kalamalka Chorus singing in their cars, tuned into the radio, under the direction of Debbie Parmenter. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Okanagan choir steers around COVID with ‘carbershop’ twist

Singers find a unique way to practice during pandemic restrictions

Colleen Price, Vancouver Island University’s bachelor of science in nursing program chairperson, says she is impressed with how students have persevered through the COVID-19 pandemic. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Next generation of B.C. nurses already showing resilience

University program head says learning had to be adjusted amidst pandemic

The Vernon Community Arts Centre is seeking member artist submissions for a summer exhibit called Enchanted: A World of Fantasy. Submissions are open until June 30, 2021. (VCAC photo)
Vernon artists’ fantasy worlds wanted for summer exhibit

Vernon Community Arts Centre is seeking submissions for Enchanted: A World of Fantasy

Logging is proposed for a portion of Mount Ida, with the industrial park to the right. The purple portions are the proposed cut blocks, the yellowy-green are city-owned properties and the red and black dotted lines are the proposed logging roads. (City of Salmon Arm image)
Salmon Arm council’s concerns eased over Mount Ida logging

Fire chief explains proposed cut complements wildfire risk reduction efforts

The temporary skatepark will be placed between the Capital News Centre (in the parking area) and H20, pictured here (Kelowna Skateboard Association/Contributed).
Kelowna skateboarders hope to get Lower Mission park

The Kelowna Skateboard Association is helping a group of kids get a skatepark for the summer

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old B.C. bike rider already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Mounties battled various sex crimes in the North Okanagan

The local RCMP sex crimes unit has been involved in a number of investigations so far in 2021

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

A Falkland man will present a 600+ signature petition to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District board Thursday, May 20, opposing dog control in Electoral Area D, which includes Falkland, Silver Creek, Salmon Valley and Ranchero/Deep Creek. (File photo)
600-plus sign Falkland man’s petition against dog control

Similar bylaw rejected by 200 public hearing attendees when topic came up 9 years ago

Most Read