Campbell River search and rescue one of the busiest in B.C.

Campbell River can be included in a cluster of teams between #3 and #20 who have a call volume between 25 and 35 calls per year

Campbell River Search and Rescue is the 11th busiest Search and Rescue (SAR) team in the province, according to Michael Coyle, a SAR volunteer and blogger.

Coyle wrote a blog item entitled “SAR Team call volumes in B.C.” for his blog, Oplopanax Horridus, Friday.

“The goal of today’s analysis is to try to track which teams respond to the highest number of incidents,” Coyle writes.

Coyle downloaded and converted all of the Emergency Management BC incident summaries into a  format suited to analysis. The data covers the years 2003-2012 giving him a full decade of data.

Out of 80 SAR groups in B.C., Coyle developed a chart for the top 10 which are, in order (including their average number of calls per year), North Shore Rescue (82.7), Chilliwack SAR (66.7), Kent-Harrison SAR (44.5), Squamish SAR (43.8), Golden SAR (38.7), Coquitlam SAR (35), Nelson SAR (33.9), Vernon SAR (33.1), Penticton SAR (32.6) and Central Fraser Valley SAR (31.3).

“North Shore Rescue, with three ski hills and adjacent to the (third) largest city in Canada is the obvious choice for the busiest SAR team in B.C.,” Coyle says.

Their average is 82.7 incidents per year averaged out from a high of 105 in 2005 and a low of 64 in 2004.

“Of the top 10, six are in the southwest region of the province,” Coyle says, “divided between the BCSARA Fraser Valley region and the Sea-to-Sky region. This is not surprising since 36 per cent of all incidents in B.C. are in this area.”

Nelson, Vernon, Penticton and Golden are clear hotbeds of backcountry activity, all of them having rivers, lakes, mountains, glaciers and a recreation profile that includes mountain biking, hiking, climbing, mountaineering, backcountry skiing and sledding among other sports, Coyle says.

“It is worth noting that Campbell River, Comox and Hope are numbers 11, 12 and 13 in call volume, followed closely by Kamloops, Whistler and Ridge Meadows,” Coyle says.

Campbell River, Comox and Hope can be included in the cluster of teams between #3 and #20 who have a call volume between 25 and 35 calls per year, and are similar in that they also compete for top spot in that cluster, Coyle says.

Notable that two of these are on Vancouver Island.

Coyle said in an e-mail to the Mirror that “there are many SAR groups with larger areas in B.C. (than Campbell River) but with very low call volumes. think that call volume is strictly based on number of people recreating or living in an area. Some of the huge remote areas of BC will see very few people. Campbell River is clearly a recreational hub (as is Comox).”

visit Coyle’s blog at: