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"It's just really disturbing for all the volunteers who drop everything and go to the aid of somebody, only to find out that you're flying over the clinic and out to the municipal helipad," he said.
Sills added that Transport Canada would probably approve the work if it had the backing of VCH. "I think they should take our request more seriously to get on with this and re-establish single engine access," he said.
"We had it for 25 years... it's just surprising in a town with such an active population and with all the activities here that (VCH) doesn't recognize that this is a requirement."
Garibaldi Park plans, alpine mountain biking on SAR radar
Recently, BC Parks reopened the management plan for Garibaldi Provincial Park to look at different options for access. Among the proposed amendments are a hut system and trail network through the Spearhead Traverse, and changes that would allow mountain biking in the Musical Bumps.
Sills said the proposals will likely increase traffic in those areas, which will in turn increase SAR calls.
"There's no doubt about it, if you look at the statistics you can see that search and rescue is just a numbers game," he said. "When you put more people out there you're going to have more calls."
The Spearhead Range represented nine calls in the report year, followed by the backside of Whistler with five. The only other area with more than two calls was Powder Mountain with five.
"We've encouraged the province to take a hard look at what kind of safety network is in place around the expansion of the entire traverse," said Sills. "It's complex terrain... and we think that it's a consideration that should be examined when and if the project moves forward."
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