Cranbrook Search and Rescue pays it forward

New state-of-the-art Rescue 2 truck allows local group to give back to a SAR team in need.

The public was welcomed to the Cranbrook Search and Rescue Hall to check out the new Rescue 2 vehicle on December 14 following the Santa Claus Parade. Pictured is Nick Bedwell

The public was welcomed to the Cranbrook Search and Rescue Hall to check out the new Rescue 2 vehicle on December 14 following the Santa Claus Parade. Pictured is Nick Bedwell

Cranbrook Search and Rescue has a brand new ride at the hall, and they were able to help out a fellow SAR group in the process.

The local group purchased a new Rescue 2 truck, a 2012 Dodge Ram 3500 long box, perfect for the growing Cranbrook SAR family.

“The old truck is still in great shape but we have out grown it, in means of equipment and people,” said Nick Bedwell, Ground Search and Rescue training officer and public relations rep for Cranbrook SAR.

And so the truck was offered up to the Keremeos SAR group, which is restructuring its operations and was struggling with the use of an older, outdated truck and equipment.

Bedwell said the truck was originally donated to Cranbrook, so it was appropriate to pass it on.

“Our old truck went to Keremeos Search and Rescue, they are currently rebuilding their group from the ground up,” he said. “The truck was donated to us, so we donated it to them knowing it was going to a group in need. Keremeos SAR’s old truck is on its last legs. They were really excited when they came to pick it up.”

The new truck that Cranbrook is now using is much larger

both in passenger capacity and engine power. It will allow them to access scenes better and

safer.

“There are two big differences and upgrades from our old truck,” Bedwell explained. “First is, the new truck is a crew cab where the old truck was only a extended cab. We can now seat five people comfortably.”

That means more members will be able to attend busier accident scenes without taking their own vehicles.

“The second difference/upgrade is the new truck is a diesel, giving us tons of power,” Bedwell continued. “Other notable upgrades is better off road capabilities, full LED emergency lighting, and larger enclosed canopy to hold more equipment which can be accessed easily and faster with the bed slide.”

Bedwell said beyond the comfort of the members and the new gear, the group hopes more members of the public will be drawn to join and become volunteer SAR.

“The biggest benefit is our image. This truck will hopefully draw more people to join the group,” Bedwell said. “(It) gives our current members a large sense of pride. Watching our members at the Christmas Parade open house show off the new truck to the public was great; the excitement and pride in their eyes was awesome.”

The truck has been in their possession for just over a month now, which has proved to be a busy time for Cranbrook SAR.

“Both our Ground SAR team and Highway Rescue team will be using this truck to go on calls and at public events,” Bedwell said. “From searches to Motor Vehicle Accidents to ATV accidents to other backcountry emergencies.”

But the first calls for Rescue 2 came two weeks ago when a winter snowstorm blew in.

“It was used on its first call last weekend during that snow storm, and it looked amazing coming around the corner with all the emergency lights on,” Bedwell said. “That is when it really sank in for me that we have this new truck.”

Funding for the new truck came from the BC Gaming Grant, but local businesses stepped up to fill in the gaps.

“We got some generous donations and discounts from places in town: Cranbrook 3M Trimline, Integra Tire, Cranbrook Dodge, Cranbrook Cap-it Genuine Truckware are the main ones,” Bedwell said. “Ultimately this has allowed us to upgrade and replace some aging gear like helmets. We are actually able to get more helmets then we currently have which isn’t enough quantity-wise for our growing group.”

The group was able to get the helmets, a protective basket stretcher bag, new radios and scene lighting will be installed on the truck later on.

“We at Cranbrook SAR are really excited about this amazing truck and we really have to

thank all that have helped us out building and continually helping us keep it in shape and ready to go,” Bedwell said. “There is no help too small to help keep us going.”

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