Sheilah Sweatman Memorial Fund for Fort Whyte Alive

Volunteer Nelson Search and Rescue team member Sheilah Sweatman lost her life in the line of duty on June 29th, 2011.

The Sweatman family created a memorial fund in her honour through Fort Whyte Alive. Fort Whyte Alive, based in Winnipeg Manitoba, is dedicated to providing programming, natural settings and facilities for environmental education, outdoor recreation and social enterprise. In so doing, Fort Whyte promotes awareness and understanding of the natural world and actions leading to sustainable living. The funds will be used to promote education and participation in activities, not capital projects that would use up the fund.

The Sheilah Sweatman Memorial Fund is a perpetual fund for whatever projects Fort Whyte Alive deems appropriate to accomplish their long term goals. Donations to Sheilah’s Memorial Fund should be directed to the Winnipeg Foundation who administer the investments and will issue tax receipts on Fort Whyte Alive’s behalf.

To donate to the Sheilah Sweatman Memorial Fund, please click on the link below:

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For Immediate Release

June 30, 2011

Office of the Premier
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General

Province mourns loss of Search and Rescue member

VICTORIA – Premier Christy Clark and Solicitor General Shirley Bond are offering condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the BC Volunteer Search and Rescue technician who lost her life in the course of her duties.

“I want to express my heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of this brave woman who lost her life during this Search and Rescue call-out,” said Premier Clark. “As a province, we are extremely fortunate to have so many dedicated Search and Rescue volunteers who put their lives on the line to keep us safe. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and the community of Creston.”

“It is with deep sorrow that I learned of the tragic loss of this young woman. British Columbians are grateful for the courage and bravery of the men and women who help protect us through Search and Rescue groups across the province,” said Solicitor General Bond. “We cannot begin to express our gratitude to the thousands of SAR volunteers in this province who provide an invaluable service, giving selflessly of their time, to keep the public safe. This is a tragic example of the risk SAR personnel face and we will provide any support that is needed.”

“The British Columbia Search & Rescue Association has suffered an immense tragedy,” said Don Bindon, president of BC Search and Rescue Association. “The 2,500 volunteers in 80 B.C. communities who provide this service to citizens and visitors in our province are profoundly saddened by the loss of one of our own. Words cannot express the sympathy we feel for the family, friends and colleagues of our volunteer. Each day we accept that Search and Rescue work is not without risk but when it happens we realize we can never be prepared. Our SAR family will recover – the work is too important for us not to be there, but today is our worst day.”

On Wednesday, June 29, the RCMP contacted BC Volunteer Search and Rescue requesting assistance with a vehicle that left the road and was submerged in the Goat River, south of Creston.

With the use of swift water line equipment and a swift water craft, Search and Rescue personnel set out to search the vehicle to determine if anyone was trapped inside. Shortly thereafter, one of the Search and Rescue members went overboard into the river and did not surface. The BC Coroners Service will be investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident.

Quick Facts:
There are about 2,500 unpaid professional volunteers, located in more than 80 B.C. communities that are available day or night, donating over 100,000 hours of their time on callouts annually. Volunteer search and rescue personnel are 95 per cent successful in finding or rescuing persons within the first 24 hours of being activated.

Learn More:
To learn more visit the BC Search and Rescue Association’s website at

Chris Olsen
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
604 220-1640

Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General 250 356-6961

Connect with the Province of B.C. at <>

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Blue Bird Day

Had a big day ski touring today! Wish I had been caring my camera with me I would have posted a photo of my perfectly crafted fresh lines. I think we went up about 700 meters, and got two sweet runs out of it. It was a beautiful sunny day up there and it felt like i was standing on top of the world. The only thing that could have made it better would be to have had a K9 friend along with us.
I did hear today that using “PAM” on your dogs paws before you go out will help prevent snow from building up.

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Dec 1

Finally home from long day. Up early this morning four a quick ski tour,…..HA! I had to work at 12:00, so the plan was to do a quick lap up Wh2O, with my friend Donald, and be back in time for work. Well we were pretty close all things considered. Visibility was minimal, avi. danger……there and the snow was so so sweet. We ended up climbing much higher then first anticipated as the skin seemed easy and we were enjoying ourselves, plus curiosity. After about an hour and a half climbing we found ourselves on a well known ridge thinking we had found an acceptable drop in, we geared up and made the first part of our decent to see if indeed we would be able to ride it. As it turns out we couldn’t, What appeared to be a gentle convex roll was really 50′ of cliff. So doing the responsible thing we skinned back up in search of a less aggressive entrance. Soon we were in luck as our next attempt led us to exactly what we were searching for, beautiful fresh clean lines in fresh snow. I made it to work by 12:30 and I’m really lucky because my boss is super cool. So i worked for the next 6 hours then headed off for our monthly Search and Rescue practice. Tonight Bruce Gardave gave a lecture presentation on Hypothermic patience, and Hypothermia.
My best advise to you, is do everything you can to Keep Out The Cold. Stay Dry. Eat Food. Drink H2O.Shelter From the Wind.

Do NOT use your body heat to melt your frozen water bottle/snow, or to warm up your skins, or any other cold object.

Tip on Skins: To easily remove snow from a skin that keeps falling off. Take your ski off stick it in the snow, hold one end of the skin in each hand and loop it over the ski, then using a sawing motion back and forth, and the edge of your ski remove the snow from the glue of your skin.

Hope that helps. Be careful out there.
Now I must go as I have a date with Bob Dylan.

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First Ski

Hi, I am happy to report I got out for my first ski tour yesterday, and it felt great. White Water Mountain is not yet open for the season so my friend and I toured up yesterday to checkout the pre-season conditions. We toured over to the new lift, and road a short side back down. The snow was decent we had fresh tracks from the top which was so sweet. Pretty technical riding in the trees though, as it still is pre-season and there was a lot to look out for. I also got out for my first cross-country ski of the season yesterday as well, it was short but sweet and felt good to be back on the trails.
Happy Winter Bring On the Snow!

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Quad Roll Over

NSAR was called out today. I got a page at about 12:00 for a 50 yr. old male injured on a trail near Sproule Creek. We gathered at our rendezvous, the subject was located just as we were heading out. He was about five minutes up the road and 200m up a quad trail. By the looks of it he tried to drive his quad on the high side of the trail to get around a big rock obstructing his way, and instead he managed to roll the machine back on him self. He was really cold and did require c-spine control, but all things considered he was doing pretty well and he knew it. BCAS were able to access the patient so we just assisted in the packaging and gently carried him to the ambulance using our stretcher wheel. A successful rescue, a good way to start after such a dry spell.

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Remember today

I wish I had an exciting story to tell, but my pager is either broken or people are just being way to safe, because it refuses to go off.
All the excitement in my life lately is far to political and boring to share on line.
We had our NSAR AGM last night, it was interesting, as always.

It is Remembrance Day today so don’t forget to put a little thought towards that. Remember past and present, then work towards a more peaceful world.
Cheers, Sheilah

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Fall Riding

Just got back from a really sweet bike ride. It took about three hours, round trip. It was the most technical riding I have ever done, having grown up in the prairies. I bought my first bike two full summers ago I got a GT hard tail, its nothing fancy but it gets me out there and i sure had fun today. I will admit I did have to walk a few really scary parts of the trail but it was not like I wasn’t trying I still managed to fall off my bike at least a dozen times. My friend encouraged me by telling me that getting good at falling was an important skill.

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Walk On

O.K so its time to re-focus. Winter is still on its way there is still going to be a crazy amount of snow this winter, and I will still ski tour and learn as much as I can probably handle. I want to be like Cyndie Jones, and try training a dog for SAR, so I have to stay focused and not get discouraged from any naysayers, my time will come, I have to be patient, patience is difficult.

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Ski Patrol ?

Well I waited a week on the edge of my seat waiting to know if I would be accepted as volunteer ski patrol up at White Water this year, I just got that phone call. I have been rejected. There was no good reason just that there were to many applicants to pick from that I did not make the cut. I would be lying if I said i was not disappointed, this was my second year trying to get on and I have invested both time and money to the cause. I was left with encouraging words like “don’t be discouraged” and “be sure to come out and try again next year” but to be honest sometimes trying to be a volunteer just isn’t worth the personal criticism. It is not glorious, its a lot of hard work, and you subject you self to the eyes and criticism of so many other people who feel for some reason empowered over you. All I want to do is help, learn and be part of the action. All I can offer is my best effort, my willingness to learn and work hard, and guarantee that I will always be truthful.

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