We are all volunteers!

Ground Search and Rescue in British Columbia is provided by volunteers in 79 SAR groups

North Island, We Have Your Back

Campbell River SAR has one of the largest response areas in British Columbia

About Campbell River SAR

Campbell River SAR is responsible for all land and inland waterway search and rescue for a large geographical area. From the Oyster River north to Port Hardy, east to Bute Inlet and sections of the BC mainland coast, west to Nootka island, this area encompasses one of the largest response areas in BC. We work closely with other SAR groups, the RCMP, BC Ambulance and Canadian Forces 442 Rescue Squadron, to provide the best response possible for missing and injured persons.

All Search and Rescue groups are a provincial resource and as such can be deployed anywhere in BC to aid in a Search and Rescue response. CRSAR has traveled as far north as Terrace and Haida Gwaii and numerous times to the lower mainland to assist other search groups.

All Search and Rescue in BC is run through the Ministry of Justice and Emergency Management and Climate Readiness (EMCR). Much of our training is provided by the Justice Institute of BC and other training partners. Search and Rescue in BC is made up 100% of volunteer, unpaid professionals on call 24/7. CRSAR, like all SAR groups, must fundraise privately and apply for government grants to fund the purchase of vehicles, rescue equipment, training and other day-to-day expenses. SAR volunteers receive no pay for any SAR service and a SAR response is not billed to the rescued party. Search and Rescue services are free in BC.

CRSAR trains its members in the latest search and rescue techniques. Our training meets or exceeds national and/or international standards.

The British Columbia Search and Rescue Association is pleased to reveal the below promotional video, which is a short indication to the viewer of what SAR Groups provide around the province and was compiled from video clips collected during the filming of the television show Callout SAR, and the current Hug A Tree and Survive video. The project was generously provided free of charge by Fire One Entertainment and Third Wave Communications.

We hope you enjoy this glimpse into the wide variety of services provided by our fellow SAR Groups in BC. They truly make us proud each and every day.

From the Oyster River north to Port Hardy, east to Bute Inlet and sections of the BC mainland coast, west to Nootka Island, Campbell River SAR covers one of the largest response areas in BC. The estimated size is 35,000 square kilometres!

Our History


Search and Rescue begins in Campbell River


Campbell River SAR Non-Profit Society Founded

Campbell River Search and Rescue is a non-profit society registered in 1979. Our humble beginnings meant that monthly meetings took place at the Municipal Hall. Training courses were held at a converted pole shed that belonged to the Willow Pt. Waterworks. Eventually, the society realized that the pole shed was no longer suitable for the society’s purposes, and began the donation process for a private room.


Began fundraising for a new SAR Hall

The official training room was built at one end of the shed. The room became home to the step-van and gear. By 1994, Campbell River Search and Rescue service needs had increased, and the organization required a necessary expansion. Fundraising for a building and its accompanying property was launched.


Finished building our SAR Hall

Campbell River SAR is very fortunate to have an excellent permanent home in Campbell River, with enough space for our response vehicles, trailered equipment, and a fantastic training room.


We got our new (and current) Mobile Command Vehicle

Our Mobile Command Centre, or MCC for short, is our search manager’s home away from home


Long Line Rescue Launched

In 2010 we launched our long line helicopter rescue team, the first of its kind on the Island. In the years since, we have gotten injured people out of some of the most challenging terrain Vancouver Island has to offer with this one of a kind tool.


Funding for SAR in BC

On January 27, 2016 the Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness, Naomi Yamamoto, announced that the provincial government would be providing $10-million in one-time funding to help bolster training, administrative support and equipment renewals for Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) volunteers.

For more info: https://www.bcsara.com/2016/11/update-on-announced-funding-for-sar-in-bc/


New look, same awesome group!

In 2017 we undertook a refresh of our team’s logo, ultimately settling on one that gives a nod to the varied and technical terrain in our area, and our role as first responders.


Sustainable funding announced for SAR

The entire Ground Search and Rescue community in British Columbia is delighted with the Province’s announcement of $18.6 million to fund the 80 recognized GSAR groups across BC. This will provide 3 years of stable funding to the 80 groups and begin to implement the BCSARA Alternative Support Model. This investment in search and rescue provides much needed predictable funding championed since 2013, and kick starts the proven and effective Alternative Support Model. This announcement compliments funding supports already in place from local government and other sources.

For more information: https://www.bcsara.com/2019/03/provincial-funding-announcement/


Hall expansion completed

Thanks to funding provided by a variety of sources, we have added a 4th vehicle bay to our hall, as well as additional meeting and classroom space.

About the BC Search and Rescue Association

Campbell River Search and Rescue is represented by the British Columbia Search and Rescue Association

The British Columbia Search and Rescue Association enhances the provision of ground search and rescue services in the province by bringing together all SAR professionals in BC to discuss and resolve issues, by accessing funding for training, providing occupational health and safety support, educating the general public on outdoor safety and acting as a common link to information and resources for Search and Rescue practitioners across British Columbia.

Mission and Mandate

The British Columbia Search and Rescue Association was registered in 2002 as a non-profit society and enhances the provision of volunteer search and rescue services in the province by facilitating access to funding, educating the general public on outdoor safety, and providing volunteers with a common link to information and resources. The Board of Directors approved their revised purposes and bylaws in January 2007.

The BC Search and Rescue Association Directors are comprised of search and rescue volunteers from all over the province as well as agency representatives from:

  1. Emergency Management BC
  2. Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  3. British Columbia Police Association
  4. Justice Institute of BC
  5. British Columbia Ambulance Service
  6. Fire Chiefs’ Association of BC

Together, volunteers and agency representatives make up the Board of Directors for the BCSAR Association. 

BC is divided into regions that contain SAR groups. Each region is represented by a BCSARA regional director.

Vancouver Island North is comprised of :

West Coast Inland SAR
Alberni Valley Rescue Squad
Nanaimo SAR
Arrowsmith SAR
Comox Valley SAR
Powell River SAR
Campbell River SAR

These groups are represented by the Regional Director Vancouver Island North, BCSARA.