Cranbrook Search and Rescue is receiving $10,000 as the first recipient of East Kootenay Community Credit Union’s (EKC) 70th Anniversary Legacy Campaign.

In total, EKC will distribute $50,000 as part of the Legacy Campaign, which is the third and final part of their 70 Year $115,000 Celebration.

The EKC staff committee had overwhelming support for Cranbrook Search and Rescue.

“We recognized the number of people the organization supports and the impact their work has in the East Kootenay,” said Pam Pinch, staff representative.

The EKC Board of Directors initiated the celebration to honour the Cred Union’s 70th Anniversary.

“Its purpose is to continue support for strong, local communities and support community groups who have felt the impact of COVID-19,” said EKC.

The $10,000 will be received by Cranbrook Search and Rescue’s Highway Division in order to obtain safety equipment that will help them safely extract injured drivers or passengers in the case of any future collisions.

“The Highway Division is a specialized team that responds to motor vehicle accidents and assists Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services with aircraft incidents. They cover 120 kilometres of provincial highways and support forestry roads. The team responds to on average 80 calls a year,” noted EKC.

Established in 1984 as a non-profit, Cranbrook Search and Rescue has three separate divisions; Ground Search and Rescue, K9 and Highway Rescue.

The following is a list of safety equipment that will be purchased with the $10,000 donation:

  • Automatic vehicle stabilizers
    • High-pressure bags that lift the vehicle in a controlled manner that enables the team to better access the patient
  • Battery-powered combi tool (also known as the Jaws of Fife)
    • The current system is time-consuming as equipment needs to be removed from the truck and hydraulic hoses connected
  • Airbag containment covers
    • Safety device placed over a steering wheel to secure them from deploying (airbags that deploy can cause serious injury, even death to a person that is near it).

“This equipment will increase the speed and safety of stabilizing the vehicle, ensuring prompt medical attention, more accessibility for the combi tool and ensure airbags are contained in the process.”

EKC also distributed $20,000 as part of their Positive Contributions Campaign last fall, with each group receiving $2,500.

  • Fernie
    • Branch Out Society
    • Twin Meadows Animal Rescue Society
  • Sparwood
    • Michel-Natal Branch #081
    • Sparwood Community Response Network
  • Elkford
    • Wapiti Ski Club
    • Elkford Housing Society
  • Cranbrook
    • Caregivers Network for the East Kootenay Seniors
    • Computer Donation Program

As well EKC’s December 14th Anniversary Donations saw another $45,000 given back to the community, with each group getting $15,000

  • The Foundry East Kootenay
    • Supported by East Kootenay Foundation for Health (EKFH) and Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Services
  • Kootenay East Youth Soccer Association (KEYSA)
    • Multi-Sport Indoor Facility
  • Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies
    • support Cranbrook’s Salvation Army food program