Kent Harrison Search and Rescue is an unpaid volunteer organization with an average of 25 trained members.
Its primary function is that of a community resource to assist the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the British Columbia Ambulance Service and the British Columbia Coroners Service and Fire Departments in a variety of search and rescue functions.
2022 was a much quieter year than 2021 for incident responses, with 58 calls versus an
all-time high in 2021 of 78 calls. In spite of the lower call volume, more volunteer hours
were expended in 2022 (7,112) due to post-covid technical SAR training being
available. Of the 7,112 volunteer hours in 2022,
2,210 were spent on incident
responses, 3,514 on training and 1,388 on maintenance and administration.
Funding from the provincial government
(via BCSARA) made up the bulk of the
revenue, with additional funding from the Fraser Valley Regional District and a portion of
the boat launch fees in Harrison. The Agassiz Lions Club made a generous donation of
$4,000 in December that was used to purchase replacement rescue equipment.
The team is eagerly awaiting a decision by the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch
regarding a major capital grant towards the cost of replacing the 20 year-old rescue
truck. If successful, the project would see a new vehicle delivered in late 2023.
The original 2007 Yamaha Rhino side-by-side UTV’s (2) were sold in October and the
team took delivery of a new Honda Pioneer 1000-5 UTV. This now gives the team
added personnel transport capability with two 5-seater UTV’s, one fitted with tracks.
2022 saw the team install additional
equipment on the Spirit of Harrison including a second chart plotter and 2 cameras.
A successful recruitment drive in late 2021 garnered six new members. They spent
most of 2022 completing the GSAR course and several other internal training
There is currently a call out for additional new members. Anyone
interested should complete the application form ASAP.
The focus in 2023 is to achieve full compliance with the new provincial
rope rescue competencies and strengthen Swiftwater rescue capabilities.
Kent Harrison Search and Rescue is grateful for the support of our families, who are
often left ‘holding the fort’ while their loved ones answer the call. Thank you to all our
tasking agencies and local and provincial governments who support us and respect the
commitment we give to the community.
We wish everyone a safe Summer 2023 season and encourage any backcountry explorers to visit www.adventuresmart.ca for a wealth of information. Please file a trip plan if you intend to recreate in the mountains.
Neil Brewer is the driving force that led to significant improvements to Search and Rescue (SAR) in British Columbia. He was the Provincial lead for large-scaled SAR New Initiatives Fund projects such as, the Inter-Operability Radio Project, and the Risk Assessment and Decision Support Making Tool Project and the British Columbia Ground and Inland Water Search and Rescue Training and Operational Support Model . He has been a leader in accessing grant funding programs that have allowed Kent Harrison SAR to acquire the necessary training and equipment to respond to a variety of Ground SAR responses. Having attained extensive knowledge with funding applications, Mr. Brewer worked with the B.C. Lottery’s Branch to develop information packages to assist SAR groups with their funding request submissions, and provided support as a resource contact for them. Most of Kent Harrison SAR capital assets have been funded by B.C. Gaming due to Mr. Brewer’s ability to compose and obtain project funding. He was also a driving force for Kent Harrison SAR getting a new purpose-built building, and he designed their latest Command vehicle. His exemplary and dedicated work is recognized by many with his top volunteer hours, and by greatly improving SAR resource acquisition to provide community safety.
Although originally formed in 1976, the team has only been receiving annual operating grants since 1991. Most of the team's equipment has been purchased through donations from community groups and businesses, as well as grants from the gaming policy and enforcement branch and the search and rescue New Initiatives Fund.
(National Search and Rescue
Kent Harrison Search and Rescue, as a registered non-profit society, delivers a professional-quality search and rescue service to the community by developing and maintaining resources to safely, efficiently and effectively resolve incidents outlined in the risk assessment of the area.
We will conduct search and rescue missions when requested to do so by the authorized requesting agencies for lost or missing persons, or persons in distress in the province of BC without charge.
Our goal is to save lives.
Learn more about our upcoming events, fundraisers, and more!