The venerable old motor home that has served the Comox Valley Emergency Program, and in particular Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue so well the past 10 years, has driven its last kilometre.
While the interior layout and technology remains functional, the drive train can no longer provide safe and reliable service for emergency operations on Mount Washington or other off-road locations. CVGSAR in fact suspended mountain operations utilizing the command post more than a year ago.
CVGSAR, the busiest ground SAR team on Vancouver Island, has committed to purchasing and building a new, custom designed command trailer for use within its operational area.
The state-of-the-art trailer will house VHF, amateur, HF and satellite communications equipment as well as GPS tracking and mapping technology. The new command post will be utilized for all SAR operations, and be available to other emergency services organizations in the Valley.
The trailer shell has been completed by Express Custom Trailer in Parksville. It arrived in Courtenay Monday.
Like all equipment utilized by Ground SAR teams in B.C., the purchase and outfitting of this $100,000 command trailer is made possible through hundreds of hours of fund-raising and volunteer labour on the part of CVGSAR team members.
CVGSAR has raised some $65,000 towards this project and has received additional financial support through the Comox Valley Emergency program.
CVGSAR has contracted local cabinet maker Andrew Kong to build and install custom cabinets. Signature West Flooring has donated high-end industrial flooring and its installation.
Slegg Lumber, Cumberland has donated some of the cabinet lumber, and local electronics guru Fred McGregor has signed on to assist with the significant electrical and data systems that will be installed over the next few months.
CVGSAR is looking for in-kind donations, specialized volunteer labour or monetary donations to complete this important project. While CVGSAR has many talented volunteer members willing to commit time towards the project, this time will come on top of the already significant time demands placed upon volunteers for training and operations as the organization approaches its busiest season.
If you have a talent that you would like to share, or if your business or service club would like to get behind a worthwhile community project, we would appreciate hearing from you.
For further information regarding this project, contact president Paul Berry.
— Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue