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Editorial: North Shore Rescue are the heroes we need

The advances our all-volunteer team have made in the last decade have been astounding. This week we say thanks with a special feature section of the North Shore News
North Shore Rescue team members and a Talon Helicopter prepare to airlift out an out-of-bounds snowboarder near Cypress Mountain, March 6 2023. | North Shore Rescue

Tim Jones was the face of North Shore Rescue, pushing the team to constantly advance through sheer force of personality. Under Jones, the team’s advances included backcountry repeater stations and caches, establishing of SAR outpost stations and approval of long-line helicopter rescues.

When Jones died suddenly 10 years ago, the search and rescue world was rocked. Looking back, however, we can say not only has the team continued to thrive, but it’s also pushed to reach new milestones, some of which Jones could only have imagined. The team has added helicopter night ops and hoists, deployment of an advanced medical team, use of infrared cameras and most recently, a helicopter mounted cellphone locator device.

You’re a lot more likely to survive today if you’re lost in the backcountry than you would have been a decade ago. Case in point: 2023 was the second busiest year ever for NSR, but not one mission ended in a fatality.

The team’s abilities are so advanced, they are regularly tasked to assist other search teams throughout B.C., responding to those calls 38 times in 2023.

For a volunteer-run and donation-funded organization, those statistics are astounding. We have nothing but admiration and thanks for the members of this team, which is so much a part of the fabric of the North Shore. You can find the full digital edition of our Jan. 24 special print feature here to read all about the team's latest achievements.  

Our provincial leaders and bureaucrats must see the tremendous value North Shore Rescue and other teams like them provide and bend over backwards to offer support. Our volunteers should be able to rely on their government just as so many of our community members rely on them.

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