'It's a really exciting thing for us': Documentary series features North Shore Rescue
Published Saturday, September 19, 2020 6:27PM PDT Last Updated Saturday, September 19, 2020 6:59PM PDT
NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C. -- North Shore Rescue volunteers are well known around Metro Vancouver for their determination and skill in completing harrowing and sometimes delicate rescue operations.
Now, you’re about to see them in a whole new light. The team is being featured in a new documentary series airing on B.C.’s Knowledge Network.
"Honestly, it’s about just letting people see what happens behind the scenes," said Mike Danks, North Shore Rescue’s team leader. “It's a really exciting thing for us; you get to meet a lot of the team members you don't typically get to see."
“Search and Rescue: North Shore” is a documentary series that chronicles the rescue operations of the volunteer organization. The team is made up of more than 40 volunteer members who focus their attention on saving wayward or injured adventurers on the mountains surrounding North Vancouver.
“The person sitting across from you in your office could be a hero and you just don't know it,” said Grant Baldwin, director of Peg Leg Films, which produced the series. "They're very real people, but they're just doing extraordinary things. I love that we're featuring North Shore Rescue in the series because they are the busiest volunteer rescue team in Canada."
Baldwin was part of the crew that followed NSR for a full year. That meant going out on every single call, even if it was in the middle of the night. In total, he believes they took part in more than 150 rescue operations.
"Going on the call, we had to be prepared to spend the night,” said Baldwin. “So on top of bringing out camera equipment, we also had to bring out overnight gear, but that would usually get stripped down to the bare minimum. If we did spend the night, we would just be curled up in a ball in the bushes."
Danks says there was pushback from some NSR members at first because there was a fear the cameras would get in the way of the operation. But, over time, the members got used to it. He’s now hoping it will give television viewers a window into what they go through, good and bad.
"The microphone is constantly recording,” said Danks. “Sometimes you're frustrated, sometimes you're pretty excited. I hope (viewers) have respect for the families of the volunteers because they'll get an idea of what they're actually putting up with when these calls come in at the worst time. You’ll also get to see how long some of these calls are drawn out and how physically and mentally exhausting it can be on our volunteers. We’re really hoping this is going to bring all of search and rescue in British Columbia to the forefront."
The five-part series premieres on Nov. 10.