North Shore Rescue HFRS technicians were joined by their fellow members as well as members from the Canadian Forces, RCMP/ISU, WVPD, Coquitlam SAR, Lions Bay SAR and the Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association (CARDA) in a training exercise Sunday. HFRS techs honed their skills inserting and extracting personnel into steep terrain, requiring transfering members from the long-line to a anchored tether on the ground. This operation was run out of the Capilano Watershed and the insertion/extraction point was on the front side of Grouse Mountain near the BCMC.

This training exercise involved two machines from Talon Helicopters. The AS350 B2 (C-FTHY) flown by Derek Riendeau and the AS355 flown by owner Peter Murray. Helicopters flew members into and out of the site in an alternating pattern, communicating tactically via a simplex frequency to coordinate the movement of personnel. The key idea behind this exercise involved the need to be able to put many members on the ground quickly were light or weather could be a limiting factor on the rescue outcome. By having the ability to put a lot of manpower on the ground quickly, NSR can respond to calls more safely and increase the liklihood of a positive outcome.

Members also practiced extractions from terrain utilizing a rescue basket, suspended from the long line. This device is primarily designed for river/water rescue, however, it’s application for mountain rescue is indispensible. If faced with a dangerous terrain or limited time, a stranded climber could be directed into the basket and flown a short distance to safety.

Check out more pictures of this exercise on the NSR Flickr page at