100% Volunteer Run and Operated Non-Profit

Serving the Bulkley Valley and Beyond


BVSAR is a volunteer-based search and rescue team. Currently BVSAR has 35 operational members, 16 members in training, and three support members. The team assists police with searching for lost recreationalists and helps accessing and transporting injured people when specialized skills or equipment are required.

The team also provides support during emergencies, such as wildfires and flooding, by distributing information during evacuations and other emergency response activities. Volunteers are prepared to respond to calls 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

BVSAR Blog Image 1
Screen Shot 2021-03-28 at 7.59.41 AM

Areas We Serve

BVSAR is responsible for the Smithers, Hazelton, and Dease Lake RCMP areas (117,476 sq km). The team covers the geographical range from the West including Mount Edziza, east including Spatsizi Plateau, North to the Yukon border, and South to Tweedsmuir Park.

Our area is extensive and overlaps other SAR areas because we are the initial response team for Winter Response, Swiftwater Rescue, and Rope Rescue calls. BVSAR frequently responds to mutual aid requests across Northern BC.



Photo courtesy of Bulkley Valley Museum archives
Photo courtesy of Bulkley Valley Museum archives


Trained and Dedicated Volunteers

Bulkley Valley Search and Rescue (BVSAR) is represented by the British Columbia Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA).


BCSARA was registered in 2002 as a non-profit society and enhances the provision of ground search and rescue services in the province by bringing together all SAR professionals in BC to discuss and resolve issues, by accessing funding for training, providing occupational health and safety support, educating the general public on outdoor safety and acting as a common link to information and resources for Search and Rescue practitioners across British Columbia.


While Bulkley Valley Search & Rescue has existed in one form or another since the ’80s, we became an official non-profit society on April 15, 1994.


BVSAR Board of Directors approved its revised bylaws and constitution in 2018.

Anastasia Ledwon


Ben Heemskerk

Vice President

Conrad Thiessen



Safety Director


Training Director

Dave Walter

Rope Team Lead

Todd James

Swiftwater Team Lead

Tom Christian

Member at Large

Tracy Torunski

Member at Large

Zach Philip

Equipment Director

Kathleen Wittwer


Michael Williams

Advanced First Aid Lead


Working Together to Serve Our Communities


Emergency Management BC

Emergency Management BC (EMBC) is the province’s lead coordinating agency for all emergency management activities, including response, planning, training, testing and exercising. Emergency management in British Columbia is guided by four pillars: Mitigation, Preparation, Response and Recovery. Learn how the Province is involved in emergencies and find resources for your household, neighbourhood and community. For more info, click here.


BC Search and Rescue Association

BCSARA acts as a liaison between Emergency Management British Columbia, the agency that oversees emergency response on a provincial level, the RCMP and local police forces who handle missing persons cases, and the SAR groups that represent the over 2500 hard working volunteers. For more information, click here.


BC Search and Rescue Association

AdventureSmart, and its suite of five programs, is a national prevention program focused on reaching Canadians, and visitors to Canada, who participate in outdoor recreational activities. For more information, click here.



PEP Air is a BC-wide volunteer aviation association dedicated to the provision of air search support services to the National Search and Rescue Program. PEP AIR is an associate member of the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association, or CASARA, and works closely with 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron with the Canadian Forces located at 19 Wing, Comox, BC.


Bulkley Valley Amateur Radio Society

Bulkley Valley Amateur Radio Society is an organization of amateur radio operators serving the public and each other. The hobby of amateur radio (also called “ham radio”) provides technical education & practice, fellowship, and emergency communications in times of need.

Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 12.43.11 PM


Community Gaming Grants provide $140 million annually to not-for-profit organizations throughout B.C., to support their delivery of ongoing programs and services that meet the needs of their communities.


Thank You for Your Continued Support

Thanks to support from these companies, BVSAR is able to keep up-to-date with equipment, and ensure operating costs are covered. For a full list of our sponsors and donors, or to become a sponsor, click here.

A&W Restaurant

Abbott Fire Protection

Adema’s Auto Shop

Aqua North Plumbing Supplies

Bob’s RV Mobile Repairs

BV Amateur Radio Club

BV Credit Union

BV Foundation

Calderwood Insurance

Coast Mountain GM

David Rice

Frontier Chrysler

Glacier Toyota

Home Hardware

Jade Acres Alpacas & Llamas

Larry Miller

Morris Electric

North Country Insurance

North Country Rentals

Oscar’s Sporting Goods

Pacific Inland Resources


Province of BC

Regional District Electoral “A”

Smithers Feed Store

Smithers Lumber

Summit Nurseries

Super Valu

Total Floors

Town of Smithers

Wall’s Home Furnishings

Windsor Plywood

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Stay up to Date with BVSAR News and Events