Westcoast Inland Search and Rescue Society

A non-profit society whose purpose is to provide search and rescue assistance to the Provincial Emergency Program of the Province of British Columbia on land and inland waters in the communities of Tofino and Ucluelet.

With the increasing level of tourist and other activities in the Clayoquot and Barkely Sound Regions, Search and Rescue services are becoming more and more important.  The communities of the Clayoquot Sound Region are in an area of high risk for natural hazards (particularly earthquakes and tsunamis) and SAR teams that are well trained and adequately equipped can provide an invaluable resource during disaster response.

In 1999 the Westcoast Inland Search and Rescue Society (WISAR) was formed in order to provide a local capacity for SAR response. WISAR is composed of a group of dedicated volunteers who provide local search and rescue capability for the Clayoquot Region. We depend on donations and other fund raising activities to support our operations. 

Search and Rescue groups in British Columbia fall under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Emergency Program (PEP) which has rigorous requirements for training and certification. At present the team has seven certified Search Managers, eight certified Team Leaders, five certified Rope Rescue Tech 1’s and thirty four GSAR team members.

No Charge for Search and Rescue

The Westcoast Inland Search and Rescue Society, and the British Columbia Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA) believe that the perceived or actual belief that a lost or injured person or their loved ones will be charged for a search and rescue response could directly affect the decision as to if or when a call for professional help will be made. It is our position that any delay in the deployment of Search and Rescue (SAR) services can negatively impact the outcome of a SAR mission.

For the nearly 2500 volunteers that belong to the 80 registered search and rescue teams in the Province of British Columbia the moral obligation of helping those in need will always take precedence over political, legal, economic and jurisdictional issues. We conduct over 1300 responses in BC each year; from urban searches for people with dementia, wilderness searches for people who become lost on hikes, to backcountry rescues using technical expertise and equipment.

The BCSARA will conduct search and rescue missions when requested to do so by the authorized tasking agencies for persons in danger or distress in the province of BC without charge. We will do so regardless of the reason they have found themselves requiring our assistance.

Our goal is to save lives.