I’m moving up. I’m going to be a manager.
Being in BC, we get more SAR tasks than the rest of Canada combined. Being in the southwest part of BC, we get 36% of all the tasks in BC. This is a busy place, and the lower mainland is the busiest part of the southwest. Our team requires a set of 6 to eight managers – each one being the “on call” or duty manager any any given time. When a call comes in, a manager has to take it and see where it goes.
Many of the calls that the managers take get ”stood down” – that is, the manager or the RCMP or both do some investigation, and find that the people who were reported missing pare perhaps not, or that SAR is not the correct method for looking for them (in the case where someone has merely taken a flight out of town for instance). Some of these types of calls, when the team is not paged out, are not recorded in the weekly incident summaries. What this means is that the SAR manager on duty is easily the busiest member of the team.
I feel quite excited about this. As I’ve written, I call SAR my avocation, but I treat it as a professional pursuit. I hope that after 10 years of being a field member, I can contribute as a SAR manager. It means that I may have to spend more time in the command vehicle, and less time in the field, so perhaps less exciting in that respect. But more things to learn and hopefully I can apply my field experiences to the new role.
The guys on the team jokingly said that they would double or triple my salary (for those who don’t know, SAR is all volunteer in BC.