In 2013 and 2014, Emergency Management BC submitted proposals to the National SAR Secretariat New Initiatives Fund for a project to update the rope rescue program for British Columbia SAR groups, which was developed in the 1980s and 1990s and has not been significantly updated since 2002. The 2014 proposal received approval and funding support over the summer of 2015 and is now being launched by EMBC under a Project Management Team (PMT) comprised of Ross Cloutier, Tom Volkers and Phil Whitfield. With NIF grant funding of approximately $455,000 supplemented by in-kind contributions of $145,000, the project is to be completed by the end of March 2017.
Involvement in the Project
The PMT intends to collaborate with a wide range of rope rescue practitioners in order to identify what competencies, equipment and techniques might be included in a “state of the art” SAR “wildland” rope rescue program for British Columbia SAR groups. EMBC is also interested in seeing to what extent updated SAR rope rescue curricula for BC might be designed in a way that could be used by other jurisdictions and practitioners. In September 2015, an e-mail survey was sent to an initial distribution list of SAR rope rescue practitioners, other agencies, training contractors and subject matter experts in order to identify equipment and techniques currently in use in the range of skills or competencies involved in SAR rope rescue, primarily in British Columbia. As the project goes through the steps outlined below, the distribution list will be expanded to include any additional respondents and the PMT will report progress to those on this list and to BCSARA members through this website. Comments and suggestions are welcomed throughout the process. A workshop in the Spring of 2016 will provide an opportunity for general review of progress to that point and discussion of one of the key aspects of the project – training delivery models for the updated rope rescue program.
The project budget enables EMBC to contract a number of aspects of the work, including research and testing of techniques and equipment, curriculum development, production of instructional materials, and initial training of instructors. Requests for proposals or expressions of interest will be issued as the need for these services or products arise and the PMT will supervise contracts awarded by EMBC as well as the disbursement of approved expenses incurred by meeting and workshop participants.
The following timetable outlines the steps in the project and estimated timelines:
|1||a||Survey techniques and equipment used in the broader rope community (swiftwater rescue, cave rescue, rope access, etc.) that would be applicable to the BC rope program.||September 25 – October 15|
|b||Research or test techniques and equipment if necessary to support selection.||November 2015 – March 2016|
|c||Select preferred “default” techniques and equipment that offer optimum interoperability across the scope of the BC SAR RR program.||March 2016|
|2||3 -day workshop to
– review competencies, techniques and equipment,
– review test results,
– examine delivery model options and select one or more that offer the most benefits in terms of ranked criteria
|Late March 2016|
|3||a||Develop a curriculum or a set of curricula that will address provincially consistent entry level training, specialized skills training and team leadership training appropriate to the selected delivery model(s).||April – September 2016|
|b||Develop instructional tools to support the curriculum.||September – November 2016|
|c||Develop a training package for certifying instructors/ evaluators in the new curriculum.||November 2016 – January 2017|
|4||a||Initiate the new training process by training and certifying instructors/evaluators to deliver the program.||January – February 2017|
|b||Summarize the project process and the innovations introduced into the updated BC SAR RR program.||March 2017|
|5||One day meeting to update Rope Rescue personnel on new curriculum.||March 2017|
Ross Cloutier, Tom Volkers, Phil Whitfield
Project Management Team
NIF BC SAR Rope Rescue Update Project