Cranbrook PEP volunteers honoured
On Wednesday, May 30, Dan and Louise Shynuk of Cranbrook were recognized in Victoria for their outstanding achievements as Provincial Emergency Program (PEP) Air Volunteers of the Year, as part of the Public Safety Lifeline Volunteer (PSLV) awards from Emergency Management BC.
“There really isn’t enough that can be said about folks like Dan and Louise. They’re selfless, brave, skilled, and incredibly good at what they do. It’s an understatement to say that we’re lucky to have them in our town of Cranbrook. It was a pleasure to host them in Victoria and recognize their contributions, but they know that the real thanks come from the hearts of those lives they so courageously touch,” said Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett.
Dan and Louise Shynuk are valuable contributors to the Cranbrook PEP Air program. Dan, a pilot, and Louise, a navigator, spotter, and recently appointed Air Deputy for the Cranbrook area, have each provided over 18 years of reliable, around-the-clock volunteer service in support of Civil Air Search and Rescue in their region.
Both Dan and Louise are committed to their responsibilities as evidenced by providing pilot services to all five search taskings in the Southeast Zone, as well as navigator and spotter support to three of the taskings over the last 12 months. In addition, Dan and Louise are committed to ongoing training as they have formally participated in 29 training sessions, 80 hours of flying and 77 hours of classroom instruction over the last year, in addition to a significant investment of informal personal learning time. They were members of a 4-person crew that placed second in the provincial air search competition in 2011. Their contributions have had direct positive social and economic impacts on searches in the Toby Creek and Estella Mine areas, as well as in numerous other SAR Air missions undertaken during their lengthy and commendable PEP Air volunteer career. They are regarded as the “glue” of the Cranbrook PEP Air Program – a formidable team that cannot be matched.
PSLV volunteers lead air and ground searches, e.g.: helping the victims of serious car accidents, setting up networks of volunteer teams and co-ordinating services for victims of natural disasters.
British Columbia’s diverse and rugged geography and numerous outdoor recreational opportunities have led to more recorded search and rescue incidents than in other parts of the country.
Approximately 4,700 registered search and rescue volunteers throughout the province are organized into teams. They respond to over 1,000 searches province wide annually.
In any given year, search and rescue groups in B.C. respond to nearly 1,000 incidents involving over 1,300 missing (lost) or injured persons.
PEP Air’s primary function is to assist Canadian Forces during search and rescue missions when additional resources are required. Currently, the organization includes over 100 aircraft crewed by more than 900 pilots, spotters and navigators.