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Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue says cell tower could help save lives

Last Updated Jun 28, 2018 at 7:10 am PDT

(Source: facebook.com/RMSAR)

People may think they will get a cell phone signal wherever they go, but that's not the case, says Ridge Meadows SAR

MAPLE RIDGE (NEWS 1130) – Summer is here, which means your time spent outdoors skyrockets. But what if something goes wrong? A local search and rescue group is still pining for a little more help to ease the burden on tracking wayward hikers and boaters.

Rick Laing with Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue says there have been calls and plans for a cell tower in the area of Golden Ears Provincial Park since 2015. He says getting a signal in the park is next to impossible.

“In today’s society, I guess people have the expectation that wherever they go, they have cell phone access. That’s not necessarily the case in many places in B.C.”

He says a cell tower in the area could help save lives.

“When we respond up there, once you get up past a certain point of the park, cell phones are pretty much inoperable. We rely on satellite phone, when we can. They’re not always accessible,” explains Laing.

“It makes our life easier,” he admits. “I think it would certainly make [things] safer, knowing that they can make a 9-1-1 call, if needed.”

A boat recently needed help on Alouette Lake, and Laing says communications were difficult. He says even with that cell phone — no matter where you might be — that doesn’t automatically mean you have a get out of jail free card.