By Andy Labdon
On June 25 members of Wadena Search and Rescue (WADSAR) were put through their paces with ATV training held on the north side of Wildcat Battalion Memorial Park.
The course started around 10 a.m. with five members: Pat Casement, Bill Anderson, Wendell Charbonneau, Shawn Olynick and Andy Labdon, who received the training from course instructor Johnny Petryshyn of Preeceville. After a brief lesson in the town office, WADSAR members then spent the rest of the day honing their riding skills as well as learning new ones.
“For WADSAR, it was less about ability and more about liability,” said WADSAR co-ordinator Pat Casement. “As organizations move forward they must become more diligent in using only safety-certified personnel in emergency response. Defaulting to the Good Samaritan Act is becoming less acceptable to the courts, especially for organizations, such as Wadena EMO (Emergency Measures Organization) and Wadena and District Search and Rescue.”
“What this means in real life is that, even though half the community has quads, in a time of need we would not be able to use them unless a state of emergency was declared and they were commandeered,” explained Casement.
At the end of the day, all members were deemed competent and received certification from the Canada Safety Council, which ultimately adds another component to the local search and rescue portfolio.