Fernie SAR activated to rescue biker

Fernie SAR activated to rescue biker

Locals are reminded to make safety a priority when out in the backcountry

Fernie Search and Rescue (SAR) responded to a call involving an injured mountain biker in the Mount Fernie Provincial Park on Monday.

The rider sustained injuries to his upper leg and hip. Fernie SAR technicians accessed the rider via all-terrain vehicles and utility task vehicles, evacuating and transferring him to the British Columbia Ambulance Service.

According to Simon Piney, head of Fernie SAR, there has been a significant increase in call-outs compared to last year, as more people seek to social-distance in the backcountry.

“We have responded to incidents this summer involving mountain bikers, hikers, dirt bikers, river users, backcountry vehicle incidents and others,” said Piney. “While this is a predictable result from more backcountry users, it does place SAR teams and their members under extra pressure, as the risks of COVID in wilderness rescue situations can be hard to manage. Having said that Fernie SAR remains fully operational and continues to provide constant emergency coverage.”

Piney also urges bikers to exercise caution on trails, approaching all technical trail features with the right skill level, and to always look before leaping.

“Our observations from around the trails is that the hot weather has caused trail traction to deteriorate significantly compared to what we were enjoying in the earlier summer, with very dusty, powdery conditions. In almost all cases excess speed on this looser surface is a major factor in loss of control.”

In the event of an emergency, Piney wanted to remind anyone using trails around Fernie to manage hazards by placing branches, clothing or a person up-trail of an injured person, alerting other trail users to slow down. While SAR does not seek to teach first aid to the public, Piney urged those facing emergency situations to manage airways, breathing and circulation (ABCs) first.

“If you believe, or observed, a significant involvement of the head, neck or back then you should do everything to secure the person in the position found,” said Piney. “Do not aggressively move them unless ABC requirements oblige you to. Even on a hot day an injured person can get cold, so be ready to pile jackets or clothing on them. Avoid giving them food or water.”

When dealing with emergencies, Piney also reminds those on scene calling 911 to state that the emergency is located in the backcountry, and that SAR must be activated, as the location may be inaccessible by road.

“Remember, the dispatcher in Kelowna does not know that Swine Flu is a bike trail on a mountain. For all they know it is a restaurant. If you don’t have cell service, then hopefully you have a satellite phone that will allow you to call for help, if you don’t have that you will have to make a decision about whether to wait on your trip plan to kick in, or send someone for help.”

For more advice on a trip plan, head to ferniesar.ca/trip-plan/. A list of suggested equipment can be found at ferniesar.ca/10-essentials/. For more information on how to best prepare for outdoor trips, visit adventuresmart.ca.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Search and Rescue

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Kevin Allen of Fernie helped research and untangle the relationship between West Fernie and the City of Fernie, and is now writing a book on West Fernie. (Phil McLachlan / The Free Press)
Local historian writing book on West Fernie

Kevin Allen of Fernie is compiling his research on West Fernie into a book thanks to a grant from the RDEK

The design green-lit by the Sparwood District Council for the Centennial Square revitalization. It retains storefront parking, as desired by the business community in the square. (Image courtesy of District of Sparwood)
New Centennial Square design green-lit by Sparwood

The new design retains some storefront parking in the square

Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton, the historians behind popular Facebook page Lost Kootenays, are set to release a book of the same name and have just unveiled its cover showing the ghostly Hotel in Slocan City shortly before its 1953 demolition. Photo courtesy of Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton.
Popular historical Facebook page Lost Kootenays set to release book

128-page hard copy documenting history of East and West Kootenays coming this fall

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Former University of British Columbia student Stephanie Hale, 22. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett
Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan for ‘mishandling’ sexual assault report

Stephanie Hale did not return to campus after the student she alleges attacked her was cleared of wrongdoing

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Most Read