Our bases in Fort St. John, Prince George, Terrace and
02 June 2017
Prince George Search and Rescue (PGSAR) supports Police, Fire and Ambulance look for those missing and rescue those who are stranded or injured. PGSAR has a number of specialty teams to support emergency services such as Swiftwater, Avalanche, Rope and Tracking. Helicopter Long Line Rescue was a need identified in the northern part of the province. The closest provincial resource is in the Okanagan. PGSAR has been working on this program since May, 2015. It will complement the other specialty rescue teams PGSAR offers in the region.
Helicopter Long Line Rescue, is a well-recognized rescue technique practiced throughout BC, and the world. The team members are trained to be harnessed to a rope, attached to a helicopter. It is capable of transporting or “slinging” a rescuer and a subject into and out of the steep, heavily forested mountainous terrain that we have surrounding Prince George.
“It’s very gratifying and proud accomplishment for PGSAR to be in a position to have a Helicopter long line rescue system as an another valuable rescue tool.” said Jeff Smedley, PGSAR Search Manager “The commitment of our volunteer members, hours of hard work and training has definitely paid off for the team. Fundraising, training and meeting provincial guidelines has taken a lot of work. This newly minted team is made up of 10 members who will continue to train to meet the standards set out by Transport Canada, Emergency Management BC and the British Columbia Search and Rescue Association. The group has been training since November 2016, with the funding of the $90,000 from the Province of BC.”
PGSAR has trained 10 members, purchased the equipment, formed a partnership with Yellowhead Helicopters and became operational as of June 1st, 2017. The Helicopter Long Line Rescue members will offer rescue services during any time of the year.
This tool will be available to support SAR operations in Northern BC. This is the first long line rescue team based in North Central British Columbia allowing rapid access and evacuation of injured subjects, and quick responses to a rescuer who may need assistance. This program will increase the safety of the team, and the people we rescue.
Prince George Search and Rescue joins 12 other SAR groups in BC capable of this type of rescue.
Read “My Nechako Valley Now” news article here.