Columbia Valley
Search and Rescue

Proudly serving the Columbia Valley and surrounding area
We conduct our operations on the traditional unceded shared territory of the  Secwépemc and Ktunaxa peoples.

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Who We Are

Columbia Valley Search and Rescue (“CVSAR”) is a volunteer, non-profit charitable Society that started in 1972. We provide assistance to local, provincial and federal agencies in ground search and rescue (SAR) operations. Operating under the guidelines of Emergency Management & Climate Readiness (EMCR), CVSAR’s primary role is a community resource to assist the RCMP, BC Ambulance Service, local Fire Departments, Emergency Operations Centre, the coroner or other authorized tasking agency in ground search and rescue operations.


CVSAR’s dedicated volunteers are committed to public safety, especially in the backcountry. Members’ training begins with the Justice Institute of BC’s Ground Search and Rescue Training program followed by monthly training in all aspects for all members. Members contribute a significant time commitment and pride themselves in their readiness for the broad range of requests they handle annually.


The coverage area is approximately 10,000 square kilometers of diverse terrain in the East Kootenays – from Brisco to Canal Flats and the Purcell Mountains to the Rocky Mountains along the Alberta Border.

What We Do

Once notified by the tasking agency such as the RCMP, CVSAR volunteers respond to a variety of emergencies including ground search and rescue, organized avalanche response, mountain rope rescue and swiftwater rescue. In addition, CVSAR has been called upon to assist municipalities such as in times of fire or flood.

Our Values

CVSAR is guided by values that define our conduct and actions collectively as a Society, as a team and as individual team members.

  • Safety
  • Teamwork
  • Professionalism – in our conduct and execution of tasks
  • Integrity
  • Compassion
  • Respect
  • Accountability – to the subject, the team and ourselves

Please keep these values in mind as you engage with our SAR group.

Our Mission

To provide trained and dedicated ground search and rescue services, emergency disaster response services, public safety and community education to the Columbia Valley and beyond.

Members Area






Recent News

Membership Update 2023

Thank you to everyone who applied to be a Member in Training for the upcoming GSAR Course mid-May. We had received over 30 applications and the CVSAR Membership Committee was hard pressed to select this year’s cohort. They focused on high availability for the GSAR Course, call outs and training as well as commitment and needed […]

Membership Opportunities for 2022

Our 2022 Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) certified members have been a valuable addition to our team. We look forward to working together to provide our specialized services for our community. We currently welcome anyone interested in joining CVSAR as an Associate Member, Special Resource or GSAR certified member transferring in. Please refer to the […]