Fernie Search and Rescue

Fernie Search and Rescue

Fernie SAR’s inception dates back to the early 70’s when several individuals formed a loosely organized group. In 1993 the group was reorganised to become an official society. Since that time it has responded to hundreds of incidents and the group has added various technical rescue disciplines to its capabilities.

Fernie SAR covers a significant portion of south eastern British Columbia, with a considerable diversity of terrain. The area north of Fernie and west of Sparwood and Elkford is mountainous with steep walls of poor-quality rock unsuitable for technical climbing. The numerous valleys are deep, with fast flowing creeks and rivers, with some Class 5 rapids. The area receives around 10 metres of snowfall every winter, and in the summer the mountains are host to some of the best mountain-biking and hiking in North America.

In the winter the steep snowy mountains draw recreationalists from all over the world and Fernie SAR responds to incidents ranging from avalanches, skier and snowmobiler trauma, MVAs, lost subjects, cold water immersion and other winter-related emergencies.

In the summer the mountains turn into a mecca for mountain bikers, hikers, fishermen and rafters and Fernie’s SAR technicians respond to a range of trauma-related emergencies, lost individuals and medical emergencies as well as water-related incidents.

Fernie Search and Rescue has around 30 members and is certified to respond in various technical rescue disciplines including Swiftwater Rescue, High-Angle Rope Rescue, Flat Ice Rescue, Avalanche Rescue, K9 Operations and Class D (longline) Helicopter Rescue.