As more and more people venture deeper and deeper into the backcountry, the demands being placed on rescuers has increased, as has the complexity of the tools and systems relied on by the team. In addition to basic skills, Squamish Search and Rescue maintains several highly specialized teams with the technical skills and expertise required to complete highly complex rescues.

Basic Skills

Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR)

All Squamish Search and Rescue members have training in ground searching, navigation, advanced first-aid and CPR, survival techniques, communications, incident command, rope management, helicopter safety, and avalanche orientation. These GSAR trained members form an essential component of ground and inland water search and rescue in BC.

Advanced Skills

Rope Rescue

The rope rescue team is skilled in the rope rescue techniques necessary to safely and swiftly effect a top-down, dual-rope rescue.

Mountain Search and Rescue

Squamish Search and Rescue’s response area includes technically challenging climbing and mountaineering objectives. Members of the mountain rescue team are highly skilled and trained to effect search and rescue operations in all types of terrain and weather conditions.

Helicopter External Transportation System (H.E.T.S.)

Squamish Search and Rescue provides H.E.T.S. rescue expertise, which utilizes a helicopter with a long line to extract lost or injured subjects from dangerous or difficult-to-reach locations. Members of the HETS team are selected for their advanced expertise in emergency medical care, mountain travel, technical rock climbing, rope rescue, and water rescue skills. H.E.T.S. is an efficient and effective method of reaching and extricating subjects, especially in time-sensitive situations.

Swift Water Rescue

Members of the swift water rescue team can safely search and effect complex rescues on the many rivers and lakes in the Sea to Sky Corridor. The team has excellent knowledge of local waterways and can complete both shore and boat-based rescues.


Squamish Search and Rescue members trained in advanced tracking techniques are utilized on more complex and involved searches where locating people proves to be difficult.