Up until 1993, the highways around Sicamous were protected by the BC Ambulance service for motor vehicle collisions. This entailed their vans to be equipped with basic extrication gear that was not always handy, hard to use, nor was is it an easy task with only two people.

Today, there are hundreds of Kilometers of roads around the Sicamous and Shuswap area that are protected by not only BC Ambulance, but a special group of people that can attend any collision needing special extrication help. They have the latest “cool” tools like the cordless jaws of life, harnesses and ropes to repel down steep embankments and cliffs, generators and bright LED lighting that makes daylight appear any time. Special clothing to protect them from acids and oils, radio communications not only within their crew, but direct links to emergency helicopter rescues for those life and death situations. This group of rock stars trains with organizations specialized in the latest rescue techniques from extrication on the latest vehicles to “over the bank” life support.

Oh ya, did I mention these are all volunteers and already have other day jobs. The Eagle Valley Rescue crew are lead by John Moore and Shane McKellar. It was Johns mission back in the early 90’s to put together a much needed rescue crew in this area. With the TranCanada highway connecting with the Okanagan connector, .

Back in that time the group consisted of about 8 people learning the ropes…sort of speak. BC Hydro donated the first rescue truck which was a retired Ford F250 service truck. The equipment was used and support given by the local BC Ambulance crew for supplies and training. Over the past 23 years, faces have changed on the crew, but the mission remains the same, “To Save Lives Around our Community”.
Unlike local fire departments where there are strict boundaries, this crew can go anywhere in the province it’s needed but definitely is focus within a 30-minute radius of Sicamous including the mountainous logging roads.

BC Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, stated that 40% of traffic fatalities occur on this stretch of highway.

EVRS saves lives by serving all neighbouring communities (12 – 15) and National Parks. We average 43 emergency callouts per year, of which 40% are medical and 25% are extrication or embankment rescues. Historical call lengths are 1.5 hours (medical) and 2.7 hours (extrications).

Active crew members spend 2.5 hours per week training on the rescue equipment. Additional volunteer hours per crew-member average 35 to 50 hours per year for fundraising, community events, and the Annual Safety Fair. Total annual volunteer hours are 130 for officers and 100 for crew.