Badlands Search and Rescue looking for new recruits

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

The organization’s president and founder Scott Campbell said this was the first suitable recruiting session the team has been able to organize in a few years, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“What we’re going to do is at the Strathmore Civic Center we’ll have a sort of open house recruiting,” Campbell said.

“The doors will be open around 7:00 p.m. and we’ll have our command post there so people can 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 are, membership requirements, training process, expectations and issues. The session will aim to end at 8:30 p.m. on the respective days.

The recruiting event will participate in the restriction exemption program, which will require proof of a QR code of vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test from the last 72 hours, as well as identification.

He added that although the organization operates on a volunteer basis and staff will inevitably come and go, they are looking to increase their numbers and maintain their positive impact for the local region.

“We are not the most active organization, but we are called three or four times a year to help search for missing persons, as well as to help the RCMP and other police services find evidence,” he said. Campbell said.

“The impact is huge because it will really energize our training. 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 that an important role of volunteers is to help with historical and high-risk research in important areas.

“We are helping Strathmore Detachment (RCMP), Chestermere, Gleichen, Hanna, Bassano, Beiseker and Drumheller Detachments… for which we are primarily responsible. We’re also helping other teams in our area that cover a large area, ”said Campbell.

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

Brandon D. James