Chilliwack SAR member earns provincial honour

A member of Chilliwack Search and Rescue earned a Public Safety Lifeline Volunteer award for contributions to emergency response in BC

Jack Bryceland

Jack Bryceland

A key member of Chilliwack Search and Rescue has earned a Public Safety Lifeline Volunteer award for his contributions to emergency and disaster response in British Columbia.

Jack Bryceland, a 40-year veteran of the local association, was named British Columbia’s 2014 SAR Volunteer of the Year at a ceremony in Victoria on Monday.

He was one of six volunteers from across the province to be presented a PSLV award by Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton.

Public Safety Lifeline Volunteers conduct air and ground searches, help the victims of serious car accidents, set up networks of volunteer teams and co-ordinate services for victims of natural disasters.

Bryceland, who was out of country and unable to attend Monday’s ceremony, joined Chilliwack SAR in 1974. A former Chilliwack secondary teacher, he is a lead instructor for the Chilliwack ground search and rescue team, and has trained volunteers in all of the rescue disciplines including: avalanche, helicopter external transport system, mountain rescue, rope rescue, swift water rescue, and dive rescue team (since replaced by the RCMP dive team).

His love for the outdoors stretches back to the 1960s when he was a member of the BC Mountaineering Club. Since then he has logged several assents, including the 18,000-foot Mount Saint Elias, the second highest peak in Canada and the U.S.

His involvement with the mountaineering club also led to his contribution to a best-selling guide to the back country in B.C.,  “103 Hikes of Southwest B.C. – a book that has helped thousands of hikers navigate key trails in the province safely.

Bryceland also worked with Neil Grainger on his book, “The Mountain Project,” by climbing several of the peaks named after fallen war heroes and placing a cross at the summit to commemorate their sacrifice.

As a teacher, Bryceland helped education young people on the importance of wilderness safety and environmental preservation.

Today, he is a member in many clubs and organizations including: the Chilliwack Outdoor Club, the Federation of Mountain Clubs of British Columbia, and the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC in which he is a board member and served as the Fraser Valley representative for the BC Search and Rescue Association.

In presenting the award, Attorney General and justice minister Anton praised the dedication by volunteers.

“They are local heroes who provide aid and support to the public during times of extreme hardship,” she said. “They are there for people in their worst moments.  On behalf of government and all British Columbians, I would like to extend a special thank you to all of those that put the needs of others before themselves.”

Bryceland will be officially presented his award at a later date.