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Chilliwack Search and Rescue team asking bikers to not blow past crews in middle of rescue

(Courtesy facebook.com/ChilliwackSearchandRescue/photos)

CHILLIWACK (NEWS 1130) — The Chilliwack Search and Rescue team is asking those using backcountry trails to be courteous after bikes zoomed past crews as they were trying to put a patient on a stretcher.

Manager Dan McAuliffe explains crews were trying to help a rider who had injured themselves on the Vedder Mountain trail, but they had other ATV and dirt-bike riders whizzing past them on the narrow road.

“We’ve got gear set out and that it’d be really nice if you would just set your motorcycles off and just walk them by. That way, if somebody has to move or we’re doing something, or there’s some gear on the ground you don’t see, we don’t have any problems,” McAuliffe says. “It just makes everybody more comfortable when they’re working there.”

He says bikes have sprayed rocks and dirt at them while they’re trying to work.

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McAuliffe also reminding people in B.C. to be prepared before setting out on a hike. He says last year, SAR crews were extremely busy, and he’s expecting a similar story this time around as well.

“Last year in 2020, our year total was probably 35 per cent higher than it’s ever been. It was the highest call volume we’ve ever had, and I expect it’s going to be the same thing this year, just with COVID and everybody being outdoors so much and not travelling.”

While McAuliffe expects the number of rescues to drop after the pandemic, for now, he’s advising people heading outdoors to do some research about the trail, bring the proper gear and make sure you know when the sun is going down.

“And if it starts to get a little bit over your head, don’t be afraid to turn around, come back. Don’t try pushing if it starts to get too steep or there’s snow, and you don’t have the proper gear. Just be a little bit more cautious.”