North Vancouver School District
the natural place to learn©
May 08
Students win search and rescue field trip experience

By Maggie Owen, Teacher, Lynn Valley Elementary

April 2023 – A lucky group of Grade 6/7 students from Lynn Valley Elementary recently experienced a memorable field trip to North Shore Rescue’s (NSR) Bone Creek SAR Station. 

Earlier this spring, Mike Danks, NSR team leader, generously donated an NSR experience for Lynn Valley Elementary’s silent auction fundraiser. Families for this class of Grade 6/7 students contributed to win the rescue training and educational opportunity.


On a bright and sunny spring day, NSR team members led students through three stations:

  • Helicopter rescues. Students had a blast! They were able to climb into the helicopter, wear the headsets, use the radio, move the propellers, and to everyone’s delight, turn on the siren. They learned how a helicopter works, including its rescue equipment features and capabilities, and had the chance to brainstorm rescue situations they might need to attend to with the helicopter.
  • Rescue equipment. Students were assigned roles in a rescue simulation to learn about the gear necessary to successfully transport an injured person off the mountains. To create as real an experience as possible, one student was even packed into the rescue stretcher for safe transport.
  • Preparing for the outdoors. Students learned how to prepare for different outdoor adventures, including how to properly pack when venturing out on a long hike or on an overnight in the mountains in varying temperatures. NSR shared information about the necessities one should always carry, as well as some extras that should be considered when heading out into the wilderness.

Once each group had a chance to go through each station, Matt Morrison, one of Talon Helicopter’s pilots, started up the helicopter and took it for a quick fly around, swooping down to demonstrate a rescue of three NSR volunteers.  

The students had an incredible time at the Bone Creek SAR Station, and I am quite certain this trip has inspired some of our students to consider becoming search and rescue volunteers one day.

NSR volunteers took the time to teach the class how important preparation in the backcountry is, share real-life scenarios, answer questions, and create an experience that we could not get elsewhere.


Along with their families and teachers, students would like to thank the entire North Shore Rescue team for making this experience possible. Special thanks is extended to NSR team members Mike Danks, Ran Katzman, Bryan Burgess, Julie Van de Valk and Matt Morrison.

As a small thank you, students decided to donate to NSR a portion of the profits from the sales generated at the school’s Entrepreneur Fair.



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