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You can check out Coquitlam SAR's helicopter at its 50th anniversary open house

The volunteer organization is celebrating the milestone year by inviting the public to meet its members and witness what it takes to save lives.

A half-century ago, it was decided that the Tri-Cities needed a response team for those that found themselves in life-threatening situations while exploring the region's backcountry.

Coquitlam Search and Rescue (SAR) was ultimately established in 1972 after a teenage boy was found dead on Burke Mountain while hiking to Munro Lake.

At the time, the one-and-only mountain search and rescue team in the Lower Mainland was located in North Vancouver.

Since then, local volunteers have aided in thousands of rescues while teaching outdoor recreationists the importance of being prepared.

This weekend, SAR members are set to share the organization's service with the community during an open house to mark its 50th anniversary.

Local residents and visitors to Lafarge Lake on Saturday (Sept. 17) will get to see vehicles used in day-to-day operations, including the helicopter that carries long hoists for aerial rescue.

Others include the COQ 3 rescue boat, recently used to locate a missing kayaker on Pitt Lake, the mobile command centre, ATVs and e-bikes.

Members will also be on site to share experiences and answer questions, and family-friendly games will be set up to test participants' strength and tracking ability.

The open house was the result of more than $4,000 in funding, thanks to a spirit grant from the City of Coquitlam.

Mayor Richard Stewart and SAR president Helena Michelis are scheduled to give speeches about the volunteer organization to kickstart the event.

The open house takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 17 in Lot D of Town Centre Park.

For more information, you can visit Coquitlam Search and Rescue's website.