EDITORIAL: That Others May Live no hollow motto for local heroes

This newspaper has said it before and will say it again – those who risk their lives to save others are heroes.

The Comox Valley has more heroes than you might suspect.

This newspaper has said it before and will say it again  – those who risk their lives to save others are heroes.

The Comox Valley has more heroes than you might suspect.

Some are the 40 poorly named search-and-rescue technicians (they should be called SAR Heroes, not SAR Techs) with 442 Squadron at CFB Comox.

As noted in a feature story in Sunday’s Vancouver Province, their motto is an elegant and eloquent That Others May Live.

After intensive training that covers life-saving medical care, parachuting, scuba diving, avalanche rescues, at-sea operations and survival skills, they are relentlessly retrained with the latest life-saving techniques.

They have access to an astounding amount of cool gear. Cormorant helicopters and Buffalo planes top the list, which includes night-vision goggles, mountaineering equipment, snowmobiles and Zodiacs.

There is, of course, a catch.

This equipment and much more is used in some of the most inaccessible, mountainous, stormy and outright dangerous conditions imaginable.

In the past 58 years, more than 50 Canadian Forces search-and-rescue personnel have perished in the line of duty, including a half-dozen from what is now called 442 Squadron.

There are hardly the only heroes in the Comox Valley, though. Volunteers with ground and sea search and rescue also risk their lives so others may live.

Enjoying camaraderie at their annual barbecue after one of the busiest summer rescue seasons on record for Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue, CVGSAR members selflessly went into action recently.

With light failing, they left at a moment’s notice to find and transport a woman and her dog lost in Strathcona Provincial Park.

Getting back to Raven Lodge on Mount Washington by 3 a.m. to pack up equipment to be ready for their next rescue, all 22 rescuers were due at their day jobs in several hours.

Words do not seem adequate for all of these heroes, but bless you and thank you.

editor@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Josie Osborne was sworn into the Legislature virtually on Nov. 24. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Mid Island-Pacific Rim MLA Josie Osborne named minister of municipal affairs

The position was previously held by Selina Robinson, who is the province’s new finance minister

The Royal Canadian Legion’s annual Poppy Campaign poppies. This year the fundraising effort was mixed for local legions which have suffered from financial strain due to COVID-19. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Mixed year for local legions during annual poppy campaign

Some find success, some struggle amidst the pandemic

There are more apartments coming for downtown Cumberland, but council wants to look at how to make sure there are rental units available. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland council calls for rental zoning options

Provincial amendments have only allowed communities to consider rental zoning since 2018

Comox and the school district are looking at formalizing a piece of school property for a dog park. Black Press file photo
School District 71, Comox work on formal dog park agreement

The site on unused school district property is already being used by dog owners

Lake Trail Middle school in Courtenay. File photo
Lake Trail Middle School closed due to threat

The credibility of the threat is being assessed and the investigation is being completed

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Gracie couldn’t stop nursing from her previous owner’s goats which was problematic given the goats were trying to be dried out to breed. Gracie now lives at A Home for Hooves. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Cowichan animal sanctuary gets international accreditation

A Home for Hooves farm sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

The Comox Valley Regional District and the Economic Development Society hope to establish a Rural Community Food Hub at the Merville Hall. Black Press file photo
Comox Valley Regional District board approve grant to establish rural food hub

The Comox Valley Regional District board has approved a $576,340 grant application… Continue reading

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

Port McNeill councillor Derek Koel busts a rap to help promote the town’s active transportation plan. (Facebook video screenshot)
VIDEO: Vancouver Island councillor makes rap video to promote active transportation plan

Active transportation is a personal matter for councillor Derek Koel.

FILE – A paramedic holds a test tube containing a blood sample during an antibody testing program at the Hollymore Ambulance Hub, in Birmingham, England, on Friday, June 5, 2020. (Simon Dawson/Pool via AP)
Want to know if you’ve had COVID-19? LifeLabs is offering an antibody test

Test costs $75 and is available in B.C. and Ontario

Most Read