Badlands Search and Rescue seeking new recruits

·2 min read

As the Badlands Search and Rescue organization prepares for its 10th year of operation, the team is once again organizing recruitment sessions on Jan. 7 and 15.

President and Founder of the organization, Scott Campbell, said it’s the first proper recruiting session the team has been able to host in a few years, as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.

“What we will be doing is, at the Strathmore Civic Centre we will be holding kind of an open house recruiting session,” said Campbell.

“Doors will be opened at about 7 p.m. and we will have our command post there for people to walk through, look at some of our gear … and at 7:30 p.m. we’ll start the recruiting session.”

Campbell said the team will be talking about the organization, who they are, why they exist, requirements for membership, the process of training, expectations and take questions. The session will aim to wrap up at 8:30 p.m. on the respective days.

The recruiting event will be participating in the Restriction Exemption Program, which will require proof of vaccination QR code, or a negative COVID-19 test from the last 72 hours, as well as ID.

He added though the organization is operated on a volunteer basis and staff will inevitably come and go, they are looking to expand their numbers and maintain their positive impact for the local region.

“We’re not the busiest organization, but we do get called three or four times per year to assist with missing persons searches, as well as helping RCMP and other police agencies with finding evidence,” said Campbell.

“The impact is huge because it’s really going to energize our training sessions. Just having an influx of new people is going to provide us with better coverage, because the fewer people we have, the less available we are, 24/7.”

Expanding their membership will increase the availability of Badlands Search and Rescue personnel and increase their public presence. Campbell explained an important role volunteers serve is to aid with high risk and historical searches over significant areas.

“We help out the Strathmore (RCMP) detachment, Chestermere, Gleichen, Hanna, Bassano, Beiseker and Drumheller detachments … that we are primarily responsible for. We also assist other teams in our region that cover a large area,” said Campbell.

Badlands Search and Rescue typically responds to three or four calls per year, explained Campbell. Any Volunteers who are interested, by provincial mandate, must be at least 18 years of age and must pass a criminal record and vulnerable sector check with the police.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times

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