Key people coming to Qualicum

Search and rescue technicians from the length of Vancouver Island will be converging on the Qualicum Beach area early next month

When you’re engaged in a life-or-death search situation, you want to know the people you’re working with have the chops to do what needs to be done — quickly and efficiently.

That’s one of the key reasons search and rescue technicians from the length of Vancouver Island will be converging on the Qualicum Beach area early next month for the third bi-annual Rescue on the Rock.

The event, said Arrowsmith Search and Rescue spokesperson Ken Neden said the exercise will involve as many as 50 out-of-town searchers taking part in joint rescue drills on Sunday, June 2.

“We do this every couple of years,” Neden said. “It’s mainly to practice skills and work with other teams with mutual aid. We have fun, too. We get to know more people from different groups, working together. We do mutual aid calls fairly regularly on the Island and you’re more likely to call on someone if you know what they can do.”

The event, he added, will be held mainly in the area of Little Qualicum Falls and will involve a combination of rope and river rescue.

“We’ll pick a spot and have someone in distress in or by the river and the scenario will see us have to lower rescue teams to them and bring them up a cliff,” Neden said. “For the ground searchers the exercise will test for probability of detection, where we will hide objects in an area and see how many of them they can find.”