Nechako Valley Search and Rescue (NVSAR) members can train and house response vehicles in their new 3 bay heated garage.
The group held a ribbon cutting ceremony Feb. 2 at their new facility which has the east-side of the building facing Damon Square.
The building took 15 months to complete, from planning to the final touches, stated a press release received Feb. 1.
During the event, Chris Mushumanski, NVSAR volunteer said “It is very exciting as volunteers of the Nechako Valley Search and Rescue to see where we are today. The project in it’s entirety is $300,000 which is a very exciting investment for a community our size and it speaks volumes to the generosity that organizations, individuals and government bodies in our community help to support SAR.”
Organizations that donated over $5,000 towards this project are – The British Columbia Search and Rescue Association, Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund, Four Rivers Co-op Community Fund, Integris Community Foundation, Mt Milligan Community Legacy Fund, Vanderhoof Municipality, Pitka Logging, Moby Concrete, Sinclair Group/Nechako Lumber, Rona Prince George – stated the release.
Construction and renovations at the building were done by Northern Homecraft Ltd., a Vanderhoof based general contractor. Construction started in May, 2018.
“4 years ago this property became available and it had seen better days. So we hired an engineer to see whether the building was worthy of a renovation or whether it had truly passed it’s life. Surprisingly even though it was built in the 1940’s, it still had a lot of life in it. The engineer was pleasantly surprised of how structurally sound it was,” Mushumanski said.
The new building has been built to post-disaster standards and will house their response vehicles and be a training location for NVSAR’s rope rescue trained members.
“The facility is really exciting as we also have an indoor training heated space for rope rescue training,” Mushumanski added.
The search and rescue group has responded to incidents as far as Atlin, Fort Nelson, 100 Mile House, Haida Gwaii and have been to the Yukon as well. Most recently NVSAR assisted the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako in delivering evacuation alerts during the fire seasons of 2017 and 2018 and assisted evacuating Williams Lake in 2017.
Ray Klingspohn, board member at NKDF during the event said,”we are very pleased with the outcome and result that search and rescue have brought to the community and all the community is very proud of what they have been able to accomplish. And the fact that the community has the confidence – if one of us, or one of our family members are in trouble anywhere in this location or that, we will have someone come to our rescue. Thank you so much on behalf of NKDF for what you do. We really appreciate it and we are sure we will continue to find funds when the next need comes up.”
The technical rescue skills that NVSAR has are, “swift water rescue, we also have people trained on flat ice on both lakes and rivers. We have a number of members trained in tracking and we also have iPads but that is usually used for mapping platform used on different calls and also rope rescue,” Mushumanski said.