Have you ever wanted to make a real difference in someone’s life, to know that your efforts have helped give a family or a loved one some peace of mind? This month and into February Badlands Search and Rescue will be hosting recruitment drives within the community.

The next recruitment session will be on Wednesday, January 18th at the Strathmore Civic Center from 7 p.m to approximately 8:30, end time will be dependent on the number of participants. 

Those who wish to participate are required to follow the Restrictions Exemption Program at the Civic Centre.

We spoke to Scott Campbell of Badlands Search and Rescue about what it takes to be a new recruit and what kinds of skills they will learn.

“We will be doing one every other Wednesday into February, so we'll be doing 3 recruitment sessions in Strathmore, and then we'll be doing one on February the 19th in Drumheller,” says Campbell.

The search and rescue organization operates in a coverage area east of Calgary which follows RCMP detachment regions of Strathmore, Gleichen, Bassano, Beiseker Drumheller, and Hanna.

There’s a variety of skills new recruits learn during their training from outdoor survival skills and wearing layers in order to dress appropriately for the weather, to different techniques of searching, navigation, tying ropes, creating shelters, and how to work with patients

Before heading down to the Civic Centre, those who want to become recruits need to be at least 18 years old, a resident of Alberta with a valid criminal record check and vulnerable sector check completed through local law enforcement. There is also a $50 membership fee.

“We look for people that are willing, motivated, good team players because this is very much a team. You cannot do it on your own you're you will always be working in a team environment no matter what you are doing,” said Campbell.

Candidates should be in reasonably good physical shape as they can expect to be walking for hours at locations in Wheatland County.

“Wheatland County looks relatively flat. But there's lots of ups and downs and brush to go through and we can also be called to assist teams out in the Foothills up north in all weather conditions,” he said.

Having outdoor camping or navigation skills beforehand is also an asset.

Campbell says, “We take people as they are, and we help train them and provide those skill sets that they need and help them develop.”

Members of Badlands Search and Rescue can be called to look for missing persons including people who are not aware they are lost due to mental health issues, dementia, or simply some people are despondent and don’t want to be found. In those cases, there may be a concern for their well-being.

“We also do assist RCMP with evidence-based searches, so if they are looking for evidence, they may ask us to look in an area for specific items or for long-term historical missing person cases where somebody's been missing for a number of years, and now we're trying to help find remains to help the family find closure.”

Find out more about the recruitment drive and Badlands Search And Rescue by visiting them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/badlandsar, visit http://www.badlandsearchandrescue.com, or email info@badlandsearchandrescue.com