NSR: The Early YearsThe origins of the team may not be what you think. Civil Defense calls and the fear of nuclear war shaped the call for volunteers. Soon after the first rescue the focus changed.
Evolution of NSR Over the YearsAfter a start in Civil Defense an emerging need in the North Shore mountains drove the change to Mountain Rescue and search techniques. Quantum leaps in experience, training and equipment are part of the story.
Impact of Technology on SARTechnology has made sweeping changes in all our lives but nowhere more than search and rescue and medical rescue. From woollens and rain slickers to fleece and Gore-Tex, from no communications to radio repeaters and cell towers, the SAR world has had to keep pace.
Reasons for Joining NSRAs a serious time commitment with inherent risks one must be in touch with why anyone would do this. Being able to leverage one’s skills to help save lives and rejoin loved ones is its own reward. Camaraderie, love of the outdoors, belonging to something bigger than oneself and learning every week are drivers for many members.
Culture of NSRSafety and community service are strong foundations for a rescue team, but more than a volunteer commitment SAR becomes a lifestyle. It affects your career, it affects when you play, and it creates strong bonds between a diverse group of members as you train and work together. Fun and friendships are outcomes.
Satisfaction of Volunteering with NSR“Giving back to the community, learning skills, camaraderie, and social interactions are some of the outcomes that provide satisfaction for NSR participation”.
Challenges of SAR“Team members face inconvenience, and a need to balance team involvement with personal lives in their work for NSR. Spouses also face challenges from inconveniences and uncertainties when they are left at home at unexpected times.”
Memorable Rescues“Memories forged by personal involvement and lengthy or difficult calls become unforgettable.”
Air Operations“From begging for air support to the development of a high-quality flight rescue system describes the evolution of procedures to meet today’s high call volume with efficient use of personnel and minimal time taken per call.”
Mt. Logan Expedition“NSR members faced a fight for survival from a sudden and unexpected storm at 18,000 ft. Training and teamwork were instrumental in ensuring a positive outcome.”
Women in NSRIn the early years, the membership of the team was male dominated, but there have always been women in the ranks. They were welcomed as peers and have filled many different roles in the team. Over time the representation from women on the team had increased to where it is today.
NSR In the CommunityThe volunteers have always been there to support their community – and the community has been there to support the team. The team has received financial support from the three local municipal councils, the Province and thousands of individual donors from the public.
Wider Influence of NSRFrom 1965 NSR's knowledge, skills and abilities to safely, effectively, and efficiently respond to calls were developing rapidly because of increasing calls for assistance necessitating, new and innovative standards, in training, search management, tracking, use of mutual aid, public education and air support, to mention a few adopted by the greater SAR Community.
Commitment to SAR Volunteer ModelOutdoor recreation is a huge activity in the province and especially on the North Shore. Using unpaid professionally trained and experienced volunteers as the service delivery model makes financial sense, because the cost of having the paid emergency service providers respond to SAR calls for assistance would be cost prohibitive.
Our Video Production Partner
These NSR history project videos were filmed, edited and produced by Bravo-Zulu Productions. They reflect the genius, skill and ability of owner and former member of North Shore Rescue, Rob Brandreth-Gibbs who unfortunately died days after their completion. These videos are dedicated in his memory.
1953 — 2020