How do search and rescue volunteers cope when a search ends with no rescue, no recovery, no answers?
When no one else can help, search and rescue volunteers around BC step in. Their passion to help people goes above and beyond the expected. They leave work, families and sleep behind to help strangers in need. And these searchers can face high stress levels knowing they are the last hope for many people, but they are trained to move beyond that stress to undergo a grueling search, to help rescue someone, to recover a body for loved ones. In just the last two years the Kamloops team alone has been involved in four unsolved SAR cases though. With a focus on the Kamloops region, this documentary explores what happens after the search when there is no rescue or recovery. When a SAR volunteer can’t provide answers to the family, their team, or themself.
There are roughly 45 active search and rescue volunteers in Kamloops and more than 2,500 in BC. Many of these searchers have their own stories of searches that have not ended. The stories without answers are the searches that stick most with the SAR community. These professional volunteers in Kamloops, BC, Canada and beyond will relate to those sharing their stories in this documentary.
Kamloops is a hotspot for outdoor recreation and as such faces it’s fair share of lost and injured people. Many people in Kamloops look to spend times outdoors in all seasons and Kamloops Search and Rescue volunteers are there to make sure they do it as safely as possible and to answer the call for help when needed.
Search and rescue volunteers are first responders but see little support for mental health. The Critical Incident Stress Management program, run by BC Search and Rescue Association, is a team of SAR volunteers working to help support their peers and is the only real support many volunteers have easy access to. This lack of acknowledgement and support from outside agencies is one many people facing stress and mental health crisis understand.