The Salmon Arm Road Rescue Unit is looking for community help.
The Rescue Unit responds to calls for extrication from autos caused by motor vehicle incidents. The unit also supports BC Ambulance Services on special circumstance calls.
The unit is currently raising funds, with plans to replace its aging truck and to purchase equipment. At 23 years, the truck is nearing the end of its life.
One fundraiser is its Beef on a Bun event, set for March 10 at the recreation centre in Salmon Arm.
Tickets to the event include dinner, a drink, a live auction, a silent auction and live entertainment. Tickets can be purchased at Hideaway liquor store or Fair Realty Shuswap.
Jayson Tracy, a member of the rescue unit, said while the Provincial Emergency Program provides a compensation system, it is not enough to purchase a new vehicle or emergency equipment.
Staffed by volunteers, the Rescue Unit’s main source of funding for equipment and other such expenses used to be the Demolition Derby, but the event is no longer held.
Asked why he feels strongly about supporting the Rescue Unit, Tracy said there is little awareness of the unit and what it does.
He said the unit is called out by the ambulance service, responding whenever there is an entrapment.
“It’s the ability to help people at the most desperate time of their lives,” he explained. “It’s a challenging position, with a lot of things the average person just doesn’t see. We certainly don’t want it to go away.”
The coverage area for the Rescue Unit stretches from the east side of Sorrento to Salmon Arm, part way to Sicamous, Ranchero and the Salmon Valley. Currently about 12 people volunteer, some who have been doing it for 40 years.
“That’s impressive. These folks drop everything 24/7, 365 days, it doesn’t matter what’s going on, the pager goes off, they go. The people doing so are completely volunteer and they’re putting themselves at risk. I think it’s a really, really important part of our first responder community,” said Tracy.
He noted the unit could use more volunteers.
Regarding the Beef on a Bun fundraiser, tickets go on sale Feb. 16. Cash and in-kind donations are most welcome.
As well as the March 10 event, which runs from 6 p.m. to midnight, the Rescue Unit is raising funds via corporate sponsorships, cash, in-kind donations, and more opportunities.
For more information on the fundraising, people are asked to contact Gord Querin at Fair Realty at 778-773-6153 or email GQshuswaprealty@gmail.com.
“Our total goal over the next three years is $500,000. The closer we get to that, the better,” Tracy said.
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