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North Shore Rescue expects to set another record for calls this year

File photo: Search and Rescue helicopter. (Mike Lloyd, NEWS 1130 Photo)
Summary

NSR crews take turns leaving town to ensure the team is not left short-staffed

There's still snow on the ground in parts of the backcountry

NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Heading into the weekend, North Shore Rescue has growing concerns, as it expects to set a record for the number of operations it carries out.

Members admit they’re feeling a little tapped out — so much so that ahead of things like a long weekend, they’re being told to try to stay around the Lower Mainland. That’s because members are being called out often and they don’t want to be short-staffed.

“It really comes down to people taking turns going [out of town]. So, that shows the commitment level that we have with North Shore Rescue. It’s not to be taken lightly,” says Team Leader Mike Danks.

He adds they’re frustrated and tired, as they continue to plead with people to only venture out if they’re experienced and equipped.

“There are certainly more people getting into the backcountry these days and I think people are doing a good job of being prepared. But we have a lot of tourists coming to Vancouver and people who are naive to the dangers that are really getting caught off guard by the conditions.”

Those conditions include snow that is still on the ground in parts of the backcountry.

“It may be a nice day in the city, but you can get up to the mountains and that can change really quickly. So, it’s really important to have extra clothing and when we say extra clothing, we’re talking about synthetic layers like fleece and a Gortex layer that will keep you dry.”

Check North Shore Rescue’s website for a list of “essentials” when heading into the backcountry.

Danks says the last few years have been consistently busy and 2018 is shaping up to be no different. “For the first quarter [of this year], we were certainly ahead of all of our previous years. I think if the weather continues to be nice then it’s going to be busy.”

The group’s all-time record for rescues was set in 2015 at 139 while last year they were called out about 120 times.