RDNO Breaks Ground on New Facility for Vernon Search and Rescue


Vernon Search and Rescue (VSAR) members, the Chair of the RDNO Board and other significant contributors, gathered at the site where the new Search and Rescue facility will be built to celebrate the start of construction. 

“We are overjoyed to be at this milestone and cannot wait for this new purpose-built facility to be completed. The new building will enable us to quickly respond when required, properly store our specialized equipment, and provide critical training for our members,” said Mark Forsyth, Director and Search Manager with Vernon Search and Rescue.

Over the years, the VSAR’s membership has grown along with the amount of equipment it uses to undertake different types of rescue missions. The RDNO owns the facility and facilitated an expansion in 2004, but a second expansion was found to not be possible due to the environmental sensitivities in the surrounding wetlands. Without the option to expand the existing facility, the RDNO and VSAR decided that a new building was required.

In 2018, the public approved the borrowing of $3.5 million through an Alternative Approval Process. Since then, the RDNO and VSAR have worked hard to secure a location, determine facility needs, and ultimately get the project to the construction phase.

“The RDNO appreciates the invaluable service that Vernon Search and Rescue provides to the entire North Okanagan. The new facility will better accommodate their growing membership, and we look forward to getting together again to cut the ribbon when it’s complete!” said Kevin Acton, Chair of the RDNO Board.

The new building will be located at 5150 Silver Star Road. Crews are expected to mobilize to the site shortly and complete the building in 2023.