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Squamish SAR host meet-and-greet event for 'game changer' vehicle

Squamish SAR won the Land Rover Defender 130 in November.

Squamish Search and Rescue (SAR) is hosting a community celebration for folks to meet, greet, and take pictures with the volunteer organization's new Land Rover Defender before it takes to the backroads. 

The event is set for June 19 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. 

On Nov. 11, Squamish SAR won a Land Rover Defender 130 and $25,000, at the the Land Rover 2023 Defender Service Awards

Basically, the competition involved individuals in six communities voting in support of their charity.

The one with the most public votes won.

Squamish SAR was the only Canadian entry in the category.

Earlier this month, Squamish SAR headed to Richmond to pick up their winning new vehicle.

"We really want to introduce it to the community …  it's because of the community support that we've been able to include this vehicle in our fleet at Squamish Search and Rescue," said Christy Allan, the Squamish SAR  communications director. 

According to Allan, the Defender will help SAR volunteers access terrain that they have previously been unable to via vehicles. This has meant more trips on foot or helicopters—and ultimately more time to get to someone who needs help. 

 "It's a really capable vehicle; it's got a shorter wheelbase, which makes it sort of better on many of these forest service roads that we end up on to get us into areas that we haven't been able to access previously with our current fleet vehicles."

Allan told The Squamish Chief that this is especially true in summer months when helicopters may be unavailable due to forest fires. 

"This new vehicle is going to be a game changer!," SAR said in an emailed release. 

Beyond photo ops and tours of the Defender, the event will include food trucks, games, and prizes, in partnership with Helly Hansen  

Allan said folks will see ground search and rescue demos in action. 

They will also get to try out a range of equipment. 

"People will be able to participate in demos including patient packaging, stretcher carry and the use of other Search and Rescue tools, including the use of heat vests, splints and vac mats," wrote Allan in a statement. 

"Squamish really rallied for this Land Rover Defender and what's been really fun to see is [how] it has been out on the road a couple of times, and just the waves and the honks that we've been getting has been really heartwarming," said Allan. 

"And so we're looking forward to  celebrating with everyone on Wednesday."

The event is on Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the O'Siyam Pavilion. 

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