Arrowsmith Search and Rescue (ASAR) has launched a campaign to replace one of its initial response vehicles.
ASAR’s fleet includes two of the vehicles, which are the first to arrive on scene, according to Ken Neden, SAR manager. Neden estimated the cost of replacement at approximately $100,000, with $25,000 committed already.
The initial response vehicles are part of the reason ASAR has sped up its response times over the past decade or so. They are equipped to begin setup for numerous rescue scenarios.
“We want to continue to do that,” Neden said. Once the new vehicle is outfitted, the old one will be transitioned into use with ASAR’s support team, which handles site logistics, Neden added.
When ASAR gets a call from the RCMP or Emergency Management BC (EMBC), ASAR search managers set up a conference call and decide where to send personnel.
“Usually at least one manager has quick access to one of these initial response vehicles,” Neden said. “And they can get rolling right away.”
One is located in Parksville and the other in Nanoose Bay, both are parked for quick access for several ASAR members.
ASAR considered purchasing an electric vehicle, but was concerned about the range and battery life.
“We could be out on a long call and then get another call,” Neden said. “If you run out of gas back in the woods someone just has to bring you a can of gas.”
Neden anticipates the vehicle could be purchased in the spring, depending on how fundraising goes.
Donations towards the vehicle purchase can be made on ASAR’s website.