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Tough talk from North Vancouver fire chief after eight rescues in three days

Last Updated Aug 6, 2019 at 9:13 pm PDT

(Source: Metro Vancouver, Twitter)
Summary

People are being reminded to be prepared before going for a hike after crews dealt with several rescues this weekend

North Vancouver's fire chief says many people aren't drinking enough water

Rescue crews have dealt with at least eight calls in three days on the North Shore

NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – With the temperatures rising across the region, rescue crews are reminding you to be prepared when you’re heading into the back country.

The reminder comes after another busy weekend on the North Shore for rescue teams, who had to deal with eight calls in just three days.

North Vancouver Fire Chief of Operations David Dales says at least two different cases this B.C. Day long weekend involved dehydration.

“Someone had been on the Grind for three hours and they collapsed at the three-quarter mark,” he said on Sunday. “We deployed some firefighters from the top who hiked down.”

On Monday, crews dealt with a rescue involving another woman on Mount Seymour, who was also dehydrated.

“There was a patient up there, a young female, suffering from severe dehydration,” Dales told NEWS 1130 Monday evening. “The firefighters assessed her, and then they put her in a basket stretcher and then they hiked her the 300, 400 metres back to another trail, and then we put her in a fire department vehicle and we drove her down to a B.C. ambulance.”

WATCH: Rescue teams reminding hikers to be prepared

Dales says there have been varying degrees in the types of rescues on an “extremely busy” weekend.

“We’ve had trail rescues, mountain bike rescues, we’ve had Grouse Grind rescues, we’ve had technical rescues — the underlying factor in all these calls is people are just not prepared for the environment and they’re not prepared for the high heat,” Dales explained.

He says¬†everyone needs to plan ahead when they’re looking to get outdoors.

“Training, you need to make sure you bring the proper essentials — take the essentials — and more importantly, you trip plan properly, let people know where you are,” Dales said. “What we’re finding with most of our patients is they’re just not drinking enough water. Dehydration is the number one cause of all their problems.

“In this high heat, it just means you have to take more water with you,” he added.

The good news, Dales points out, is that a lot of the people his crews have had to rescue have known exactly where they were.

“So we’re able to promptly get to them. They know how to use their phone, they know how to use the compass on their phone, and because they trip planned, they know where they are so they’re able to describe their location to us so the firefighters can get to them really quickly and promptly.”

-With files from Peter Wagner