The Central Fraser Valley Search and Rescue Society will deliver a professional quality search and rescue service to the community by developing and maintaining resources and skills to safely and successfully resolve incidents outlined in the risk assessment of the area.
The Central Fraser Valley Search and Rescue Society was formed in 1978 by a small group of individuals who had been members of other SAR groups across British Columbia and recently moved to the Fraser Valley. The formation of the team resulted from an incident in Northwest Langley involving a young mentally challenged female who had gone missing from her home. Without a local SAR team, precious time was lost getting help to her. This delay proved fatal with the young woman dying from exposure. Determined that this should never happen again in our community, the Central Fraser Valley Search and Rescue team was formed.
Since our foundation, we have had many donations which make our efforts possible — everything from personal protective equipment to vehicles that carry members and gear.
Who We Are
CFV SAR is comprised of over 40 unpaid professionals who have each undergone extensive mandatory Search and Rescue training. The Central Fraser Valley stretches from the west border of Chilliwack to the east border of Surrey, British Columbia Canada. Whether it be inland water and rivers, mountain terrain, high-angle rope, or urban rescue, our team of dedicated members are on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We are a resource for agencies such as the RCMP, Emergency Management BC, and the Fire Department — combining our assets and skills to accomplish any task at hand. We are CFV SAR.
Passion is contagious
...and for that, our team grows stronger every day.
Lee Holeczek | CFV President
Our team is comprised of specialized assets in which members have gone through more detailed training in order to meet our area’s needs.
AAlthough most of our members obtain specialized skills in other aspects in SAR, Ground Search & Rescue (GSAR) training is the foundation for every member on our team and throughout the province. Being our most called upon service, the term GSAR encompasses a large range of skills and knowledge to track a missing hiker in alpine terrain, aid in natural disaster relief, evacuate a subject with life threatening injuries, or even search local cities for missing loved ones.
When a task involves any of our region’s inland rivers or lakes, our Swift-Water Team is called out. Using specific and thoroughly practiced skills, our SRT (Swiftwater Rescue Technicians) will deploy onto any waterway with any one or all of our watercraft. From a jet boat capable of skimming along the surface of shallow water to a hovercraft capable of crossing any sandbar or piece of land — our team can access just about any location where first aid, evacuation, or rescue is needed.
Using various rope systems, our members use specialized training in conjunction of the basics of GSAR to perform very specific duties within a task. In our region, there are many places where this is a great asset as rescuing subjects from low slope embankments or high angle terrain is not only dangerous, but potentially deadly for anyone involved. Such tasks rely on our Rope Team’s proficiency with rope management, technical system know-how and hours of practice to ensure a safe, timely and effective rescue is achieved in all of our regions high-angle terrain.
Even though our region does not have a high probability of avalanches, our Team’s resources does include the ability to help assist neighbouring regions in their areas. Our Avalanche Response Team is equipped to search & navigate in the most remote and dangerous of mountainous areas in British Columbia. Utilizing speciality gear to safely and affectively locate missing skiers, snowmobilers and anyone who might be caught off-guard by an avalanche, our Organized Avalanche Response Team will move promptly and swiftly.
When we are not on a task or training, we are at schools, events and other centres teaching one of our Adventure Smart Programs designed to engrain the basics of outdoor survival and safety. We believe that enjoying the outdoors has to be done so with respect and proper knowledge. With the information we teach, anyone from any walk of life and get outside and enjoy the outdoors with confidence.