Cochrane Search and Rescue (CSR) is nearing the end of one of its busiest years ever, says president Evan Knox.
"This year we've had almost a record year," says Knox. "We've had over 20 searches and nearly 9,000 hours of volunteer time, so it's been a busy year."
Besides Cochrane. they're called upon to complete searches in Canmore, Morley, Kananaskis Country, and Waiparous.
The voluntary organization is 77 members strong and is now preparing to begin training a new group of recruits in January.
CSR recently received a $2,500 contribution from the Cochrane Lions Club for assisting with the huge rodeo dance on the Labour Day Weekend.
It's a partnership that originally came about a couple of years ago by coincidence, says Lions president Chris Connon.
Connon says they ran into Evan and he explained how most of their funding had disappeared through COVID, and their major fundraiser (a giant garage sale) was also shut down because of the pandemic.
"We thought, well, what a way to give back and, in turn, help our events out, too. They love being there and being involved. It gets Cochrane Search and Rescue right out front and centre."
"That service is very important in this community," he says. "It's one we can't afford to lose."
Knox says they appreciate teaming up with the Lions.
"Cochrane Search and Rescue is basically 100 per cent donor-driven and so teaming up with an amazing group like the Lions Club really helps us do what we do," says Knox.