Get Involved

Public Safety Lifeline Volunteer groups help our community in various crucial emergency response and support roles. For more information on volunteering, contact Ryan Thoms, Manager of Emergency Services at 604-485-2260 or


Emergency Radio Communications

Powell River Search and Rescue


Emergency Radio Communications

The qathet Regional Emergency Program in cooperation with the local Emergency Radio Communication Unit has established a backup Community Emergency Radio Communication network for local emergencies such as extended power outages, flooding, wildfires, earthquake, etc. when 911 telephone services are not available to affected residents. In the event of an emergency where 911 telephone services are not available, designated volunteer Community Emergency Ham Radio Operators will place “sandwich board” signs at the front of their property.


Powell River Amateur Repeater Society operates three repeaters in the local area:
Powell River VE7PRR (147.200+ t141.3);
Lund VA7LND (147.000+ t100); and
Texada Island VE7TIR (444.025+ t141.3).


The Regional Emergency Radio Communication Unit (ERCU) provides a backup radio communication network between local government Emergency Operation Centres to Emergency Support Service Reception Centres, Department Operation Centres of the Police, Fire, Ambulance, Search and Rescue, etc. as directed, as well as to the Provincial Regional Operation Centre in Victoria.


Interested in Becoming a Member?
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer Community Emergency Ham Radio Operator and/or a local EMBC registered Radio Communications Public Safety Lifeline Volunteer with the Powell River Region ERCU, please contact .


Powell River Search and Rescue

Powell River Search and Rescue (SAR) is a group of dedicated volunteers working throughout our region.


The “Ten Essentials” for Backcountry Emergency Preparedness

The first and most obvious rule of safe backcountry use is to always carry equipment that might become necessary in emergencies. Every backcountry user, even on seemingly insignificant day hikes, should carry the most basic equipment; commonly referred to as the “Ten Essentials”. The key word is “Essentials”. The survival equipment, clothing and other resources you carry will increase your chances of surviving an emergency. Carefully selected, these items can easily fit in a small backpack.


1. Topographic Map and Magnetic Compass Too often, backcountry users venture deep into the backcountry without a map and compass. The fact that they are able to safely venture back out is usually pure dumb luck. With a map and compass, it is much easier to identify your location and direction of travel. This is especially important in the event that you become lost.


2. Flashlight (with extra batteries and bulb) How far do you suppose you could safely travel at night in the backcountry without a flashlight? Could you signal others if you saw a campsite far away? A flashlight makes travel at night possible and aids in signaling when lost.


3. Extra Clothing (including mittens, hat, jacket and rain gear) Hypothermia is the most common killer of backcountry users. Inability to maintain body heat can quickly rob an unsuspecting victim of all energy and common sense. Since severe weather may present itself very quickly in the backcountry, extra clothing should be carried to help maintain body heat.


4. Sunglasses Especially in winter, ultraviolet glare from the sun can cause blindness. Worst of all, backcountry user may not realize this is happening until it is too late. A good pair of sunglasses, designed to limit ultraviolet light, will eliminate risk.


5. Extra Food and Water These items will maintain energy levels in the case of an emergency and help maintain body temperature in cold weather. While you can survive three days without water and three weeks without food, your energy levels will be seriously depleted without these.


6. Waterproof Matches in Waterproof Container Waterproof matches, available from most backcountry supply stores, are capable of igniting in high winds and/or blinding rain. Building a fire may be impossible without these. Fires are critical since they not only provide heat, but also make the job of search and rescue teams easier by providing a visible signal.


7. Candle/Fire Starter A candle burns much longer than does a match. This is helpful when trying to start a fire, especially if your firewood is wet.


8. Pocket Knife There are a multitude of applications for a pocket knife in emergencies. The common Swiss Army Knife is so-called because it is standard issue for the Swiss Army, which has devised 246 uses for their standard 7-instrument knife.


9. First Aid Kit Proper first aid care is difficult, if not impossible, without a good first aid kit. Backcountry shops carry several brands of small, lightweight first aid kits including small first aid manuals.


10. Space Blanket or Two Large Orange Heavy-Duty Trash Bags These items can help provide shelter in an emergency situation and can be used as a raincoat or windbreak. The additional warmth they provide far outweighs their minimal weight.