Search and Rescue opens its doors

Cranbrook’s volunteer emergency responders will hold an open house this Saturday

A volunteer-run Cranbrook emergency services provider is opening its doors to the public this weekend.

Cranbrook Search and Rescue (SAR) is inviting everyone down to its headquarters at 38 – 7th Avenue South for an open house on Saturday, May 24, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“There is going to be a vehicle extrication demo, there is going to be rope rescue demonstrations, and all of our equipment will be here, set up for people to look at,” said Greg Bedwell, SAR president.

It’s an event to bring the kids to, he said, and also a chance for anyone who might be interested in learning more about becoming a SAR volunteer to talk to someone about what that involves.

SAR has two trucks: one for highway rescue, which holds the Jaws of Life, and one for ground searches. It also has two side-by-side ATVs that are used in ground searches.

While there, you can enjoy a barbecue with burgers and hot dogs.

It’s the first time Cranbrook SAR has held an open house, and Bedwell said it’s a chance to “show people what we are doing and our new home.”

The volunteer organization moved into its current location on 7th Avenue last July. SAR was able to purchase the building and relocate from its cramped quarters at the old fire hall after an anonymous donor gave the group $180,000.

It’s an ideal location for SAR because it’s close to the highway and not across the railway tracks, allowing for rapid response; and it’s large enough to hold the two trucks, a trailer, the ATVs and have space for storage and training.

The 4,500 square foot building, which used to be an auto body shop, has been totally renovated. It has heated flooring, a meeting room, office space, a kitchen and bathroom, and plenty of storage.