Ground Search & Rescue

BC Search and Rescue Stats

The BC Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA) advocates on behalf of the 78 GSAR groups and the more than 3,000 hard working professional volunteers, and trained, members-in-training, and resources volunteers who donate hundreds of hours of training in order to search for and rescue hundreds of subjects each and every year.

Each year search and rescue groups in BC respond to more than 1750 incidents involving over 1,700 lost or injured persons. Our 3,400 unpaid professional volunteers (fully trained members, members-in-training and resource members), located throughout BC communities, are available day or night.

Together these men and women donate more than 441,000 hours of their time on callouts annually, and historically an astounding 95% subjects are found or rescued within the first 24 hours of a volunteer GSAR group being activated.

This volunteer service offers tremendous value for citizens and visitors alike. The cost to replace this volunteer service in direct salary dollars alone would exceed $20,000,000 annually (excluding infrastructure and capital costs, which are estimated at more than 50 million dollars.) BCSARA is proud of its role in making this service better.


What Is The Purpose Of BCSARA ?

Funding & Finance:

  • To solicit, receive, control, administer and distribute funds, donations and gifts.

SAR Support:

  • To enhance and support the delivery of a volunteer community-based search and rescue service in British Columbia.
  • To foster a beneficial working relationship between registered volunteer search and rescue service providers and the agencies responsible for GSAR in British Columbia.
  • To undertake all duties and responsibilities previously held by the Provincial Search and Rescue Advisory Committee.
  • To own and dispose of property, both real and personal.
  • To provide and support public prevention, education, and awareness programs which promote safe outdoor activity.


  • To provide public awareness of ground and inland water search and rescue.
  • To liaise between all contributors, participants and stakeholders in the ground search and rescue service.
  • To liaise and interact with SAR organizations in other provinces, countries, and at the federal/national levels.
  • To participate in the recognition of official GSAR groups in British Columbia.

Health & Safety:

  • To provide health and safety support to registered volunteer ground search and rescue groups and volunteers.


  • To promote, develop, support, assist, and deliver local, regional, and provincial training for all GSAR volunteers.

The BCSARA Vision Statement

To develop and support the safest and most efficient ground search and rescue service for the citizens and visitors in B.C.

BC Search and Rescue Association Mission

The Mission of BCSARA is: To represent un-paid professional ground search and rescue community by providing advocacy, support for funding and health and safety, access to information as well as public education and prevention.


Resolve Issues

To bring together SAR professionals to discuss and resolve issues.

Access Funding

To access funding for training.

Safety & Support

To provide occupational health and safety support.

Information & Resources

To act as a common link to information and resources for Search and Rescue practitioners across British Columbia.

Outdoor Education

To increase awareness to help reduce the number and severity of SAR incidents.

Our Core Values

BCSARA follows these values when conducting its business:



Ensuring safety is paramount in all we do.


Accountability and transparency in how we fulfill our responsibilities.


Leadership through innovation, mentorship and professionalism.


Building the SAR community through communications.

Become A Search & Rescue Volunteer

SAR Groups In BC

Incidents Per Year


People Rescued


P.O. Box 2176
Sidney BC
V8L 3S6

For Emergencies, Call 911 or
1-800-663-3456 (Satelite Phone)