In order to better serve those that get lost or injured in Coquitlam Search and Rescue’s (Coq. SAR) region, the team’s executive committed the team to developing a Helicopter External Transportation System (HETS) team. HETS is a rescue system where the rescuer is suspended at the end of a 200’ line slung beneath a helicopter. This system enables the Coq. SAR to quickly and safely rescue a subject from remote mountain sides thereby reducing hours of stretcher carrying and avoiding potential further injury to the subject and to the rescuers.
“Having our own HETS team will enable our team to respond to an emergency within minutes,” explained Garry Mancell, President of Coquitlam SAR. “The need to use HETS within our region has increased over the last few years and is now at the point where we as a team are willing to invest the time to develop and train members with the skills necessary to maintain our own HETS team,” Mancell said.
What Coquitlam SAR does not currently have are the financial resources necessary to purchase the equipment and pay for the training to be certified to perform HETS. The approximate cost of a HETS team is:
- Equipment $25,000
- Training $25,000
“We are now putting together a more detailed plan on how to implement a HETS team and will be asking individuals, community organizations, business owners, government and others to support our team and our efforts to better serve our community. We would appreciate and recognize any support anyone might be able to provide our team,” Mancell said.
Currently Coquitlam SAR is one of the best trained and resourced teams in the province with expertise in Search and Rescue management, advanced medical capabilities, rope rescue, swift water rescue, and mountain and avalanche rescue to name a few. The team also has a mobile command post, equipment truck, boat and Argo, supplied and maintained by the city of Coquitlam as well as specialized rescue and communications equipment owned by the team. “Having HETS capability will make our team capable of ensuring the people we rescue are getting the best and most timely service possible,” concluded Mancell.