Photo Courtesy of PGSAR

Prince George Search and Rescue (PGSAR) has partnered with a helicopter agency to expand its mission resources.

Helicopter Long Line Rescue helps provincial teams to save anyone trapped in steep, mountainous areas, and the BC Government has funded $90,000 for the acquisition.

PGSAR Manager Jeff Smedley is grateful this agreement has finally come to life.

“We’ve had a number of rescues in the North over the last few years where this resource was needed. We started a year ago with the fundraising and training, and Mercy Management BC just gave us the green light here that we can start performing those types of rescues.”

He says 10 of his crew members have been trained since November leading up to Thursday morning’s announcement, who will assist with Yellowhead Helicopters.

Photo Courtesy of PGSAR

“We recognized that if we had that resource here, we would be able to respond to anywhere in Northern British Columbia. Currently, that’s what we’re set up for; to support Prince George Search and Rescue and the other search and rescue teams.”

This type of emergency service also applies to those wedged in heavily forested areas, adding to PGSAR’s swiftwater, avalanche, rope, and tracking specialty teams.

Smedley adds the relationships between Yellowhead and his team has always been mutual.

“They have pilots trained to do this, and now we’ve got ground crew and crew to work underneath the helicopter as well.”

He’s also grateful for the province’s recognition in the need for more helicopters in the North.

PGSAR is now the 12th branch in the province to obtain this form of rescue; the agreement was initially brought forward in May 2015.