CENTRAL SAANICH — If and when a patient with dementia walks away from a hospital or care facility, emergency response personnel on the Saanich Peninsula want to be ready to help find them.
On March 12, Peninsula Emergency Measures Organization (PEMO) — Search and Rescue is putting on a large scale training exercise in conjunction with the Saanich Peninsula Hospital and the Central Saanich Police. The exercise runs between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The exercise will involve multiple volunteer Search and Rescue teams from the South Island as well as Peninsula emergency response agencies. It will focus on a community member suffering from dementia who has walked away from the Saanich Peninsula Hospital.
Search and Rescue volunteers will be actively searching in the community of Central Saanich during the day including urban areas, parks, fields and wilderness areas.
Training exercises such as this allow Search and Rescue volunteers to practice skills which are vital to emergency response. Being able to work together as a response organization will be one major focus to this exercise. By training together we ensure that other emergency service providers on the peninsula and neighboring search and rescue teams will work together seamlessly during a real search or emergency situation.
The PEMO — Search and Rescue team is made up of 30 dedicated community volunteers who are part of 80 volunteer search and rescue teams around B.C. who respond to over 1000 calls annually. — Submitted by PEMO