Penticton & District Emergency Program Society

Penticton & District Emergency Program Society (Penticton Search and Rescue / PENSAR) is a volunteer community-based search and rescue team. Its roster of 44 members are from all walks of life but share a common interest in providing an important life-saving service to the public, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The PENSAR team has existed for more than 40 years, making it one of the most established SAR teams in Canada. During this time the number of calls each year has gradually increased. Last year PENSAR responded to more than 50 calls to rescue injured or lost/missing citizens. Our group of professionally trained volunteers amassed (collectively) more than 8000 hours of training and event calls confirming our commitment to Penticton and the surrounding areas. We work very closely with professional service partners such as the RCMP and BCAS and are proud community supporters.

Our Impact Why We Exist

The Penticton and District Search and Rescue Society's constitution states the following purposes:

To affiliate with E.M.B.C and liaise with the Municipal and Regional District Emergency Programs in the Penticton area to increase the awareness of the community in outdoor safety, wilderness survival, search and rescue techniques, first aid and all forms of rescue training.

To make ourselves readily available, when possible, for mutual aid to other communities and agencies provided it does not leave the communities of Pentiction and area unprotected. To participate in select community events. To hold assets, both property and equipment for Search & Rescue purposes.

Our Story What We Do

For over 40 years, The Penticton and District Emergency Program Society (Penticton and District Search and Rescue) has been providing professional volunteer search and rescue services to the citizens and visitors of the South Okanagan. Initially stated as a Ground search and rescue team, the team has since expanded into more specialized search and rescue specialties including: rope rescue, swift water rescue, flat water rescue, flat ice rescue, helicopter external transport system (long line) rescue, medical first responders, tracking, communications, incident command, search management, dog teams, avalanche response, and search and rescue instruction. The team currently has a roster of 54 trained members. In 2015 PenSAR trained an additional 18 new members.

Our Programs How We Do It

Under direction from Emergency Management BC, PenSAR provides a team of highly-trained professional volunteers to respond to search and rescue emergencies in the South Okanagan and, when requested, across BC. This service is offered whenever needed and without remuneration. On every mission and training exercise PenSAR volunteers must apply the values of Courage, Teamwork, Passion, Service, Accountability and Curiosity to save lives, reduce suffering and safely return home at the end of the day. Penticton and District Emergency Program Society provides the ìbehind-the-scenesî support to the Penticton and District Search and Rescue team. This includes funding, logistics, administration, training, policy development, performance and safety reviews and research. The high workload of the search and rescue team necessitates a support service equally committed to the core values of Emergency Management BC.

What You Can Do

All PENSAR members are professionally trained and certified through JIBC.

PENSAR has multple technical rescue teams to help save lives and rescue people who are lost, missing or in immanent danger.

-Ground Search and Rescue

-Ice and Flat Water Rescue

-HETS (Helicopter Rescue)

-Marine Rescue

-Swiftwater Rescue

-Tracking and Dog Search Teams

-Rope Rescue / High Angle Rescue

All PENSAR members are also First Responder medical attendants, trained to triage and provide first aid to injured persons.


Mike Porter
SAR Technician & Committee Member - Grants/Finance
Charitable Number: 140728890RR0001

Finance & Governance

Annual Operating Budget: 
$ 75,000