North Shore Rescue is a volunteer community-based search and rescue team. Its members are from all walks of life but share a common interest in providing an important life-saving service to the public, 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
The team was established in 1965, making it one of the oldest SAR teams in Canada. During this time the number of calls each year has gradually increased. Over the past 50 years the team has been involved in more than 2500 search and rescue operations volunteering over 200,000 hours of effort. These calls have involved over 2000 subjects, and approximately 25% of the calls have involved subject injuries or death.
On average NSR responds to about 100 calls/year. However, recently the trend has increased – 2015 to 2017 NSR responded to over 130 calls each year. This means we are responding to almost 3 rescues/week, many lasting more than one day. In the shoulder seasons we see fewer rescues, while in the summer we quite often see 3-5 rescues in one weekend. Winter calls generally last longer and require more manpower due to lack of light, weather, mountain conditions and less air support due to weather and light.
In 2016 NSR spent over 10,000 hours on calls. We spent another 20,000 hours on training and other tasks for a total of 30,000 volunteer hours. If you divide that by 50 volunteers that is 600 hours per volunteer (however, this is not divided equally – some spend much more).
Our latest stats are below. You will notice the upward trend until 2005, which is when the local Fire department took over calls involving mountain bikers. Our call volume dropped off a bit after we stopped responding to the majority of mountain bike calls. In recent years it has started to increase again with a dramatic increase in 2015, 2016.