North Shore Rescue is on track for another record year of calls prompting another appeal to look at professionalizing the service.
Team leader Mike Danks says crews have taken 90 calls so far – the average in an entire year – and 50 shy of last year’s total.
And he says with trails busier every year, making the team paid professionals is worth looking at.
“We’re all volunteers, we’re all dedicated to do this for the community, and I think that will really change the dynamic. But I think it’s something that we do need to look at because, currently, with this amount of call volume, it’s not really sustainable.”
Danks says a conversation about a new funding model and possibly transforming the team is needed.
“How it would be structured is something that we’d need to speak with our local MLAs also within our team to really figure out what would be a good fit.”
He says the idea was loosely floated in a meeting with North Vancouver’s MP this summer, but that there have been no recent talks with the province.
The province recently injected $10-million into BC Search and Rescue, but Danks says it was a one-time payment, not a long-term solution.