Chilliwack Search and Rescue held a helicopter rescue demonstration at Pacific Region Training Centre on Oct. 19

Chilliwack Search and Rescue held a helicopter rescue demonstration at Pacific Region Training Centre on Oct. 19

SLIDE SHOW: Chilliwack SAR helicopter rescue demo

Chilliwack Search and Rescue held a helicopter rescue demonstration as part of the National SARscene 2013 conference held in Chilliwack.

Chilliwack Search and Rescue hosted a rescue demonstration as part of the National SARscene 2013 conference held at the Pacific Region Training Centre in Chilliwack on Saturday.

The scenario for the demonstration was two victims who needed to be rescued by helicopter from a wooded area.

The helicopter, flown by pilot Brad Fandrich of Valley Helicopters in Hope, first surveyed the scene from the air to determine how to access the victims and the height of the surrounding trees.

He then flew back to a landing area where the helicopter was prepped for rescue. This included removing the doors from the copter, attaching the rescue line, meeting with SAR members, and going over the hand signals.

The helicopter then took off again with two SAR members and a stretcher attached to the end of the rescue line. The members were lowered into the wooded area, and the helicopter left the scene.

Once the first victim was assessed and loaded onto the stretcher, a SAR member radioed to pilot Fandrich.

The helicopter returned to the scene to remove the victim on the stretcher along with one SAR member. They were then taken to a safe area while the second victim, still in the wooded area, was strapped into a tandem harness with the second SAR member.

The helicopter returned once more to rescue the second victim and SAR member and to bring them to safety.

Once all victims and SAR members had been rescued from the accident scene, the rescue line was pulled in by hand by a SAR member, all while still attached to the helicopter and while the copter was slowly landing.

The steps involved in the demonstration are identical to the steps taken in a real rescue.

Chilliwack SAR is the second busiest search and rescue unit in B.C., second only to North Shore SAR. Chilliwack SAR receives about 70 rescue calls a year.

Chilliwack SAR’s next recruitment is in the spring. The group meets and trains throughout the year, every Wednesday evening. Chilliwack SAR members put in an average of 300 volunteer hours per year.

Those interested in joining Chilliwack SAR can email

For more info, go to

See these photos larger on our Flickr site.

Read the story on SARscene here.

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