The land where the new Arrowsmith Search and Rescue hall, located in front of the Qualicum Beach Airport terminal, is now being cleared for development. (MIchael Briones photo)

Arrowsmith Search and Rescue seeks public assistance paying for new $1.2M hall project

Group has outgrown current location in Whiskey Creek

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue organization is building a new hall.

The development of their new home is taking place on a property donated by the Town of Qualicum Beach, located just in front of the Qualicum Beach Airport. The ground is being prepped and once the prefabricated building is delivered on Sept. 21, the work to put it up will start on Sept. 28.

ASAR, one of 79 volunteer search and rescue groups in the province, have outgrown their current hall, which they share with the Coombs-Hilliers Volunteer Fire Department in Whiskey Creek.

“The growth in our population has been quite dramatic with all the construction going on,” said Stuart Kirk of ASAR. “So our call volume over the last decade has doubled. We had to expand the team and add more vehicles to the fleet. Right now more than half of our existing vehicles cannot even fit into our existing search and rescue hall. To continue to serve the community professionally, we need a new home.”

RELATED: Arrowsmith Search and Rescue crews find hikers lost in Englishman River Falls Provincial Park

Over the years, the ASAR was able to raise approximately $700,000 for the project, including a gaming grant of $250,000. But the price tag has gone up to approximately $1.2 million due to higher cost of materials, particularly steel, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The volunteer group now needs to raise another $500,000 or $600,000 to pay for the new hall and are asking the public for assistance.

“We are out there for the community, to help the community and we are appealing to the community to now help us,” said Kirk, who heads the ASAR fundraising.

ASAR has 45 members, all certified search and ground and rescue technicians. They also have members who received special training in water rescue, ATV operations and rope rescue. Kirk said they are often called out to help people who get in difficult situations such as lost or injured hikers, ATV rider incidents, older people walking away from care facilities or their homes, or young children straying away from home.

If you are interested in donating you can mail a check to the Arrowsmith Search and Rescue at 3237 Alberni Highway Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada V9K 1Y6; designate the ASAR as beneficiary in an insurance policy if you don’t have any more dependents; give a part of your estate in your will to ASAR; or donate non-registered investments in kind. As a charitable organization, tax receipts will be issued for donations for income tax deduction purposes.

Kirk said they are also currently recruiting new members.

“We average about 40 to 50 calls a year and not everybody can always make the calls,” said Kirk. “So we’re looking for more people to come and join the Arrowsmith Search and Rescue.”

For more information on how to donate or become a member, you can check the Arrowsmith Search and Rescue online at http://arrowsmithsar.ca/

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Parksvillequalicum beachSearch and Rescue

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The French Creek Pollution Control Centre. (PQB News file photo)
RDN targets grants for major projects in Nanoose Bay, French Creek and Whiskey Creek

Official says projects have a strong chance to be approved for cash

The regional fire training building project is now in use by fire departments in District 69. (Submitted photo)
Parksville Qualicum Beach area has new regional training building for firefighters

Project a collaboration involving multiple fire departments

In this photo provided by Shannon Kiss, smoke from the CalWood Fire billows, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, as seen from Gunbarrel, Colo. (Shannon Kiss via AP)
‘First guys out:’ western Canadian air tanker fleet busy despite drop in wildfires

CEO believes wildfires have become more dangerous in recent years as people live closer to where they start

The BC Ferries vessel the Queen of Alberni. (News Bulletin file photo)
UPDATE: More sailings cancelled after ferry breaks down

Queen of Alberni out of commission, BC Ferries revises schedules

The BC Ferries vessel the Queen of Oak Bay arrives at Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal. (News Bulletin file photo)
Anti-mask protesters cause disturbance on ferry at Horseshoe Bay

Queen of Oak Bay delayed by about 45 minutes Saturday morning

In this photo illustration, a provincial election mail-in ballot sealed in an Elections B.C. return envelope is seen before being deposited in a Canada Post mailbox, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. The final result of British Columbia’s provincial election won’t be known for at least two weeks because more than 700-thousand mail-in ballots have to be counted by hand. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s snap election means 700k ballots will be counted manually, delaying results

Elections BC spokesman said employees in 87 electoral districts will count mail-in ballots one by one

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam takes part during a press conference during the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. As parts of Canada face a new round of COVID-19-related restrictions, Canada’s chief public health officer is urging Canadians to continue making a “collective effort” to tackle the pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Chief public health officer calls for continued ‘collective effort’ against COVID-19

Canada continues to climb toward the 200,000 mark for COVID-19 cases

Jordan Naterer, 25, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. He planned a hike in the Manning Park area, and has not been seen since. Photo Facebook.
Family devastated as search for missing Manning Park hiker suspended

‘It was an extremely difficult meeting with the parents when we had to tell them.’

FILE - Nathan Cullen speaks to media in Smithers, B.C., Friday, February 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, Cullen apologize for NDP candidate’s comments about Haida candidate

Nathan Cullen had made insensitive comments about Roy Jones Jr. Cheexial

Six Mile Beach outside Nelson is known for its perfect sand, clear water and unique sand spit. But the drowning death of a man in July has residents asking if the dangerous spot has become too popular. Photo: David Grantham/Kootenay Drone Services
Dangerous oasis: The fatal history of a popular Kootenay Lake beach

Six Mile Beach near Nelson is known for its unique sand spit. But locals have feared it for decades

Jordan Naterer, an electrical engineer from Vancouver, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. Facebook photo.
‘Please pray for our son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Searchers continue efforts to find 25-year-old Vancouver man in Manning Park

Most Read