Shuswap Search and Rescue received one of the toughest calls they have to answer on Sunday.
At approximately 10:30 a.m. on September 18, one of their own volunteers was seriously injured in the Larch Hills.
Shuswap SAR spokesman John Schut said their teammate was mountain biking over Larch Hills when he rolled over on his mountain bike and broke a vertebra.
“He was in a plot of pain,” Schut said.
Schut explained that a doctor was on hand for a bike race in the Larch Hills area at the time. Other mountain bikers then went down to the Larch Hills chalet, retrieved a stretcher and brought it back for the medic to wrap the injured person in.
“We sent a team to meet them and help bring them down, but they pretty much did most of it on their own,” Schut said, noting that HRH sent a stretcher and a side-by-side to meet them. but in the end they were not used.
It was nearly 2 p.m. when the injured man was brought to Larch Hills Ski Resort. From there he was sent to Kamloops for surgery.
“It’s pretty scary to be injured like that,” Schut said.
As for having an injured SAR member, Schut explained that this makes the situation particularly intense.
“It doesn’t happen that often, but we all understand that. We all play in the backcountry. It amplifies things for us when it’s one of our own members. Not that we don’t respond quickly for anyone, but it certainly hits home a bit when you see one of your own limbs in pain.
The man has been a volunteer with Shuswap Search and Rescue for about five years.
The BC Bike Race was the ongoing mountain bike race, the Salmon Arm portion being 52 meters with a 2000 meter drop which included the Larch Hills Traverse.
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