quote:Originally posted by Kid Charlemagne
Steventy, 'mutual aid' from other SAR teams was requested for this search. Generally speaking, SAR usually has adequate resources for searches, keeping in mind that the searchers need to be trained and manageable as per the risks presented by the search. If the person was missing in a cornfield in the Fraser Valley, it might be appropriate to use 'civilian' volunteer searchers, but that certainly isn't the case in the North Shore mountains right now.
Thanks for the info.
I understand the general reasoning. At the same time, it's not quite that black and white. There are some very skilled mountaineers (some that may even have previous SAR experience,) in the local area that can't join a team because they aren't able to make the year-round time commitment due to work or family obligations. In the event of a search that requires extra manpower, leveraging teams from other areas is good but they are small and they have their own searches to work on (Squamish has been busy with another search over the past week.) It seems feasible that there may be advantages to having a local back-up crew that would fund their own way (pay for their own equipment and training,) and would be required to have completed the GSAR course from the justice institute, AST-1, and Wilderness First Aid. They'd be available for searches where time is critical and where at least some of the search area is not highly technical. In a search like this one, you could have even set up a few of these teams to camp in non-avalanche terrain around the boundary and below the snow line in case the subject walked into their vicinity or in case verbal contact could be established in the silence of the night.
Obviously the SAR system is working pretty well today. It's miraculous how many searches are successful and how few searchers are injured or lost in the process; especially considering the small amount of funding that is made available. That doesn't mean we can't brainstorm about ways it could be even better in the future.
On a related note:
This fellow sounds like he probably has a bit of money in the bank. Hopefully he makes a generous donation for Christmas.
"Boucher is a director of finance with the National Bank of Canada, CBC News has confirmed. He works in both the Ottawa and Vancouver offices of the bank, but currently resides in West Vancouver."