Wells Gray Search and Rescue Mission Statement

It is the mission of Wells Gray Search and Rescue to:

provide a timely, safe, well-trained and well-equipped search and rescue response at the request of authorized tasking agencies
lend our skills to community events when requested
promote education and awareness of search and rescue issues and safe outdoor practices

Wells Gray Search and Rescue Society is a registered non-profit organization operating out of Clearwater, British Columbia. It has a voluntary and broadly based membership open to any interested applicants regardless of age, ability, ethnicity, gender, religion, income or sexual orientation. Its primary function is that of a community resource to assist the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, BC Ambulance, the Coroner and the Provincial Emergency Program in a variety of functions.

Wells Gray Search and Rescue serves an area of approximately 10,000 square kilometres including Wells Gray Park which sees more than 100,000 visitors each year. We are also available to travel outside our area of responsibility to assist other SAR groups and may go anywhere in the province if we are needed.

Through regular meetings, training and maintaining a search & rescue headquarters the organization has a viable plan for ensuring resources are in place to continue our service and is situated to offer long term community benefit. Wells Gray Search and Rescue is funded by an operating grant from the Thompson Nicola Regional District and applies for TNRD and Lottery grants to cover the cost of equipment and training. Wells Gray SAR has strong support in the community and many local businesses and individuals have donated goods and services to us.

Although operating under guidelines set out by Emergency Management BC (EMBC) and the Provincial Emergency Program (PEP), Wells Gray Search and Rescue (WGSAR) is manned solely by volunteers. Call-outs are usually initiated by the local detachment of the RCMP or BC Ambulance Service. Volunteers are notified through a telephone paging system.

Volunteers are called to the base where a briefing is given and resources are deployed. A call is placed to the ECC duty officer in Victoria to obtain a task number which is used to reclaim operational expenses on the completion of the task. In some cases the designated search and rescue (SAR) leader will request other resources such as neighbouring SAR teams or aerial support (PEP Air, RCMP or local private helicopter services). It is important that volunteers respond promptly and are properly equipped, as valuable time can be lost at the outset of an operation.