Central Cariboo Search and Rescue is paying tribute to North Shore Rescue leader and paramedic Tim Jones.
Jones was very well known as a media spokesperson in rescue missions. He died Sunday evening after collapsing on a trail while coming down from a rescue cabin on Mount Seymour.
“We’ve lost a strong supporter and advocate for SAR in Tim’s passing,” said local SARs chief of operations Rick White Monday, moments after he had installed a Canadian flag in the window of one of the organization’s trucks parked out front of the SAR hall on Mackenzie Avenue.
White also tied a bouquet of white roses with a ribbon on the side mirror.
“It’s a small memorial for a great guy,” White said.
Recalling the one time he worked with Jones in person, White described it as a privilege and an honour.
It was Labour Day and a woman was missing in the Red Stone area west of Williams Lake.
“A lot of people were on vacation and not in town and the closest search manager to Williams Lake was Tim Jones, North Shore Search and Rescue,” White said.
Jones flew up from North Vancouver to lead the search.
“It was kind of funny because down on the North Shore people have radios but they also pack cell phones because cell phones work along the North Shore and area,” White said.
Jones requested 35 cell phones but White told him it wasn’t going to happen because there was no cell phone coverage in the Red Stone area at the time.
“He looked at me and asked where the heck he was going so I tried to explain that to him mid-flight in the chopper.”
That search landed four days, Jones adapted very well and did a great job, White recalled.
“Tim was involved with Search and Rescue for more than 20 years and was a B.C. paramedic for a long time,” White said. “He was always on the news looking for funding, making sure to look after the SARs people, always advocating for radios and creating networks.”
On Monday Premier Christy Clark issued a statement, saying she was saddened to hear the tragic news about Jones.
“Tim represented the North Shore and B.C. at our absolute best,” Clark said. “He dedicated the best part of his life to helping people in the worst moment of theirs – Tim’s North Shore Rescue team often meant the difference between life and death.”
“North Shore Rescue was a full-time, often dangerous job – which makes it all the more amazing that it was voluntary. On his own, Tim built one of North America’s most innovative and successful search-and-rescue teams. To date, they have found over 1,000 people and saved dozens of lives.”
“I was honoured to present Tim with the Order of British Columbia in 2011. I can think of no one who deserved it more. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. He will be missed.”