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SAR teams still on standby for people ignoring public health orders

Last Updated Apr 10, 2020 at 10:57 am PDT

File photo. (Courtesy Chilliwack Search and Rescue Facebook)

Search and Rescue teams are still on call during the pandemic

Health officials have ordered people to stay in, bu SAR organizations will still come to help

Calls to SAR teams have gone down recently

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — For those breaking the COVID travel restrictions and hitting the back-country this weekend, Search and Rescue organizations will still be there to help.

Even so, Doug Fraser, search leader with Chilliwack Search and Rescue, says they’re not expecting an overly busy weekend.

“I wouldn’t say I’m worried, but I understand that there may be some people that aren’t sticking close to home,” he tells NEWS 1130.

Fraser says Search and Rescue organizations throughout the province have seen a marked decline in calls over the past few weeks amid this pandemic.

His group — like all others across the province — are on standby this weekend, despite the call from health officials for people to remain home. But he says, “now is not the time to test your limits and ‘bag that peak.'”

Fraser adds his teams would rather be at home with their families.

“Don’t break those rules,” he says of the provincial health orders. “You can enjoy yourself and get some fresh air and sun by staying close to home and going for a walk on a low-risk trail.”

Provincial parks have already been closed off leading up to the long weekend, and municipalities have also taken steps to close off popular spots to curb the spread of COVID-19.