Since 1995, a dedicated group of volunteers have spent thousands of hours looking for missing people, recovering bodies, and searching for evidence for police. The Technical Search and Rescue Association out of Grande Prairie is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and fundraising to help cover costs at the same time. The group is 100 per cent donation funded, but President Dennis Walker argues it’s an essential service.
“We serve the entire Peace region and we have people on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. I’ve missed Father’s Days, I’ve missed Mother’s Days, I’ve missed birthdays; these are dedicated people that we have in our community.”
A small group of volunteers started up the association in 1995 to help out local RCMP after a drowning in Musreau Lake. While the city gives them an operating grant, there’s still the cost of training and equipment to cover. Walker says funds are also needed to replace an aging fleet of Bombardier quads.
“Originally they were the first two-ups that came out so we can actually carry two people safely, legally, so we need to have a two-up machine. The vehicles that we’re running, we’ve spent probably about $15,000 in repairs.”
They’re also looking to buy a boat and rope rescue equipment. An anniversary dinner is being held Saturday, but anyone looking to help out the team with a donation is encouraged to contact President Dennis Walker at 780-518-9726 or [email protected]