Central Okanagan Search and Rescue receives dozens upon dozens of applications per year. Some of these applicants hope that joining the team will turn them into mountaineers. This is not the case! Due to the large variety of mountain and wilderness situations the team can be exposed to, it is simply impossible to provide “from the ground up” training in all of these. The objective of team training is to enhance existing skills, not teach novice ones.
Therefore it is important applicants already have experience in a variety of outdoor situations. Hiking, climbing, mountaineering, backcountry skiing, snowshoeing and so forth are all very useful. A mixture of summer and winter experience is very desirable.
A related subject is equipment. It’s assumed that aspiring team members are already experienced “outdoors-type” people. Hence it is also assumed that they already own the appropriate outdoor equipment, such as backpacks, boots, clothing, and so forth. Team members must be able to travel through a mountain environment in any weather for extended periods of time, and thus need the personal equipment required to do this. Specialized equipment such as a rope-rescue chest harness is provided by the team. However the vast majority of equipment required is normal outdoor gear, and must already be owned by the applicant.
A good knowledge of the okanagans wilderness is critical. Being familiar with the many peaks, trails and watercourses is invaluable when trying to navigate them at night, in a snowstorm, as part of a search.
Holding a current First Aid certificate is a membership requirement. However, you DO NOT need one to join. First Aid training will be provided upon commencement as a member in training.