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2021 offers record number of calls for Central Okanagan Search and Rescue

Last evening's two rescues in Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park were the 85th and 86th tasks for Central Okanagan Search and Rescue, marking the busiest year in their 67 year history. SUBMITTED/COSAR

Central Okanagan Search and Rescue crews reached new heights on Thursday when two calls pushed the organization to its busiest year yet.

“It was a dubious milestone,” COSAR president Brad Trites said in a press release of the organization’s 86th rescue of 2021.

“The huge volume of tasks is starting to take its toll.”

Click to play video: 'COSAR holds open house to recruit' COSAR holds open house to recruit
COSAR holds open house to recruit – Nov 18, 2016

The first call came in at 2:30 p.m., when a cyclist on the KVR suffered what is suspected to be a heart attack.

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Half an hour later, a second call came in for an injured adventure racer on the Crawford DH trail, about three kilometres away from the first incident.

He was transported out using Penticton Search and Rescue’s helicopter.

Due to the high number of calls stretching crews thin, COSAR will be recruiting new members until Oct. 31.

Click to play video: 'Okanagan Search and Rescue train paramedics in open water exercise' Okanagan Search and Rescue train paramedics in open water exercise
Okanagan Search and Rescue train paramedics in open water exercise – Aug 18, 2016

“We are looking for people with outdoor skills, but also with availability. We expect a minimum of 200 hours of volunteer time annually and many members give five or six times that,” Trites said.

Last year, COSAR volunteered over 20,000 hours.

An open house in October will be followed by short-listing interviews, reference checks and then 90 hours of basic training.

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Details and the application can be found at COSAR.ca.

COSAR is in its 67th year, making it the oldest search and rescue organization of its kind in the province. It currently has 51 members.

For more information, contact Ed Henczel at 778-996-3339.

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