The Waffle House Index


The Waffle House index is a metric – a way of measuring one thing to determine the value of another thing. What it is intended to measure is the impact of a natural disaster on a community. The idea goes like this; if

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Your worst day


Think of your worst day. Everyone has them. The death of a family member comes very high on the list, as does personal injury. Many SAR incidents are the worst day for the friends and family of people we search for

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SAR Member needs Kidney Transplant

Update: see comments below, Tony Rupp has found a donor. Recently a friend of mine from the Okanagan posted on the BCSARA member’s board a request from a Shuswap SAR member whose kidneys are failing and needs a transplant. I don’t often pass

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On Backcountry Safety

Screenshot 2015-03-13 12.13.01

On the road up to Mount Seymour, near the start, there’s a yellow sign: “THINK SAFETY  If you get lost today will anybody know? Are you prepared?” In the 80’s I’d seen this sign multiple times a week every winter as

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A decade of long line rescue

Training in 2012

In 2005 I was selected with another member of Coquitlam SAR to be a part of North Shore Rescue’s HETS (long line rescue) team. This led to being selected to be a part of the 2010 Olympics Long Line Rescue team,

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My dog and I, "skiing" near the head of Indian Arm

SAR Teams use social media as part of their investigation into a missing person — and if they don’t, they have to start immediately. In fact, two easy ways SAR teams can use social media as an investigative tool are as follows: the Social

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SAR Team Diversity as strength


One of the most interesting things I have noticed about Search and Rescue teams is this; they are made of volunteers who have “regular jobs” — outside of SAR. This means that every SAR volunteer has an expertise in addition to SAR, something they

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UAV use cases for SAR

a UAV from Kaizen Kinetics Inc.

This is part three of my series of posts on the operational use of UAVs for SAR. The first post was on the basics of UAV use in Canada, and the second was on how SAR works in BC for

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The most dangerous pursuit

Travel on lightly snow-covered rocks

Premise: the most hazardous backcountry activity in BC is to do so while being a tourist or an exchange student. We do a lot of rescues in BC, about 1300 a year now. There are a lot of ways to get killed

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Knowing how to use it

Flying over Whistler Village in 2008

Ironically, the very first “live” long line rescue I did was a body recovery. The hiker in question had fallen several hundred feet – 800 or 900. He slid on snow, bounced off trees, and rocks and fell over a cliff. He was strangely

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