Comox Valley Search & Rescue is a fantastic and diverse group of volunteers who come from all walks of life. CVSAR volunteer for different reason and all pursue a variety of hobbies and occupations outside of SAR, but they all have one common goal, helping those in need when it matters most. Enjoy our blog series “Who We Are – CVSAR” and learn about all the people that make CVSAR such a great volunteer organization to be a part of.
What do you do outside of SAR for work/hobbies?
In my personal life I am an outdoor adventure guide. I have worked in many disciplines (hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, rafting etc.) from day trips to multi-day expeditions.
I am so passionate about being immersed in nature and wilderness and to be able to move through it in a non-impactful way. By doing this you will see the most amazing things that most people don’t get to see in their everyday lives. Being in the wilderness is an wondrous experience for many people, but in the blink of an eye it can turn disastrous even deadly.
What is your role in SAR?
I have been with SAR for 7 years and I have been trained for ground search, swift water, avalanche, ropes, first aid and Team Leader.
What makes you passionate about SAR? When I was younger my boyfriend and i went on a multiday hike. We were experienced and had all the gear necessary safe travel on a well used trail system.
At one point we decided to cut from one trail to another, the distance was short, but required to go off trail and into the Australian coastal bush.
The transition should have been easy, except we did not have knowledge of the terrain and foliage we were about to come across.
Within a short time, the foliage became very tall (over our heads) and thick. We had compasses so we decided to continue by following a bearing.
The first concern was that we lost sight of each other. We stayed in voice contact for awhile but as we were concentrating on our bearings and making our way through the scrub we stopped talking for a while. It was a short time later when we realized, we lost voice contact! The only choice was to continue and find each other on the trail.
Not long after a vine wrapped around my leg and I tripped over. I found myself hanging upside down over a hole with only the vine holding my body weight and a multiday back pack. fortunately, with careful manipulation I managed to get out of the hole untangle the vine and get to the trail.
I nearly kissed the ground when i got there, but I still hadn’t found my boyfriend.
I dropped my pack and ran up and down the trail looking and yelling out to him. it was the longest 20mins of my life turns out he came out to a small cliff and took a fall that could have led to certain death if he hadn’t found a hand hold. Needless to say, what should have been a simple short off trail experience went sideways fast, this was the scariest experience in my outdoor career.
So, if you ask me why i joined SAR this incident was where is all began, but there are many more reasons.
I was new to community and my guiding skills and experience were a good fit to be able to give back to the community that became my home. It was to meet new people, to learn new skills, to become more familiar with Vancouver Island terrain, but above all was to be in a position to be able to help others find their way home!
What’s been the most rewarding part of being a part of SAR? SAR is the greatest gift that I can give to my new home.
Interested in joining Comox Valley Search & Rescue?
Check out our Application Page where you can learn about all the requirements, find out anwsers to commonly asked questions and fill out an application.