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New Hazleton RCMP pack survival kits ensure preparedness during mushroom picking season

Whether in the spring or fall, mushroom picking season can be challenging and sometimes tragic because of the weather and the varying nature of the terrain  if you are not prepared. Before heading out into the forests of BC, it’s important to be prepared to ensure your safety and surviveability.

The New Hazleton RCMP has put together survival packs for those individuals who embark on mushroom picking so they are equipped for what the elements could bring.

“During my first year in New Hazelton I had spent a considerable amount of time in the bush working along side of Search and Rescue (SAR) looking for people who had become lost,” said Corporal David Goodyear. “The common thread that I had noted was that the missing persons were always woefully ill prepared to be in the bush at all. I have a personal rule that I never go into the bush without being prepared to spend a couple of nights there in emergency conditions.”

Cpl. Goodyear noted that the detachment did not have go-bags for the members which he realized was vital. This thought sparked his idea to supply survival kits to the villages who would in turn distribute them to their Band members that needed such a kit.

“I believed that we would see a reduction in missing persons, but in the event a person become lost, the kit would increase the surviveability and decrease the amount of time required to locate the missing person,” said Cpl. Goodyear.

As well as food, the kit included the basic necessities needed to make fire and shelter. Monoshee Outdoors in Armstrong was able to secure all of the contents for the survival kits

Each kit contained the following items:

  • Fire starter
  • Whistle
  • Water purifying tablets
  • Survival blanket (silver reflective on one side for heat retention and bright orange on the other for increased visibility)
  • Two meals

Indigenous Police Services (IPS) was able to procure backpacks, not only to contain the survival kit, but to also be used to transport the mushrooms

“I thought being that if the kit was additionally useful and not a burden that they would be more likely to be used,” said Cpl. Goodyear.

Working together with IPS, the kits were distributed by officers to the Indigenous communities around New Hazleton. Officers travelled to each of the seven villages to present each band with an allotment of kits.

As a result of these efforts, there was a significant reduction in calls related to missing persons from several per week to one for the entire mushroom picking season.

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