EDITORIAL: Bound to happen

This week we bring you the story of Bobby Joyce, an out-of-bounds snowboarder saved by North Shore Rescue who is now warning others not to make the same mistake he did.

We expect Joyce is inviting a torrent of online abuse but we’ll defend him. From the comfort of their couches, the frustrated commentariat demand to know why people who put themselves in harm’s way are never charged for their rescues.

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Volunteer search and rescue teams in B.C. do not charge for their services, nor do they plan to, no matter how frustrating the circumstance. We absolutely support this. If someone fears a hefty bill, they’re less likely to call for help. The longer they wait, the colder and darker it gets, the worse their injuries will be and the harder and riskier it is for our rescue volunteers to find and extract them.

As a community, we feel a collective desire to make sure everyone in our tribe makes it home safe each night. It’s why we don’t deny medical care to people who have made unhealthy lifestyle choices.

Other misanthropes bemoan their tax dollars going to fund SAR teams. But those teams currently scrape by on a hodgepodge of grants. We’d argue they deserve sustainable funding. That way the volunteers who do the heaviest lifting – literally – don’t have to spend their downtime going hat in hand for donations to fund their habit of saving lives.

Joyce sharing his story is probably the most helpful thing he could do for North Shore Rescue. Hopefully, his story persuades others to stay in bounds where they belong, stopping the need for the next call.

What are your thoughts? Send us a letter via email by clicking here or post a comment below.

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