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Are we rescuing people too soon?

Incident outcomes in the South Coast of BC
(Copyright Michael Coyle, reuse with permission)

I had a conversation with another SAR member the other day and he mentioned something interesting. He referred to a policy known euphemistically as “the first night’s free” – commonly used in areas that get a lot of SAR calls that are

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A decade of long line rescue


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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RCMP to be charged for CH-149 Cormorant


People in BC are used to seeing the CH-149 Cormorant helicopter, based at 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron in Comox, BC. This helicopter is the Canadian Forces SAR helicopter. It costs about $30,000 an hour to operate, and soon, if

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On Life Jackets

Water Rescue

Every summer we’re faced with multiple stories about people drowning in BC. Somewhere between 50 to 70 preventable deaths per year in BC alone, according to the drowning report published by the Canadian Lifesaving society. Being a ground SAR volunteer, I’m not called out for water-relatedincidents

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Smart Phone and GPS

GPS Accuracy

I noted that there was some chatter recently on how cell phone GPS units work, and some misinformation that deserves clarification. First I would like to point out that the most probable place where an error in a GPS location

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Growth of of the Long Line Rescue technique

Looking up

Using the data gathered from the EMBC Incident Reports (see previous posts) it is possible to do a little investigation into what rescue techniques are used, and how frequently. This is important to gauge their relative importance and prevalence in the

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Donations are not repayment

Training in Squamish in 2008

There has been a recent spate of rescues in BC where the subjects were under the impression that they would have to pay a fine for being rescued. This is, of course, incorrect. The problem is, when people think they

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Calling for help early saves lives

Buntzen task may 20 2013

Yesterday my SAR team was called to rescue three stranded hikers near Buntzen Lake. Global News covered the story. The location software they are referring to is, a prototype I whipped up based on some ideas myself and another

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Locating lost people using smart phones


A few weeks back I managed a search for two people lost near Buntzen Lake. After we rescued them, I learned that one of them had a smart phone with a GPS (in this case, an iPhone), but neither subject

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Canadian Military considering charging for Disaster Relief services


I just listened to this interview this morning on CBC. Chris Alexander, the parliamentary secretary to Defence Minister Peter MacKay was interviewed by Anna Maria Tremonti. In the interview, Alexander said that the Canadian Military is consisdering charging provinces, cities and

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