When Alli Lorraine broke her leg this winter, she wasn’t doing anything crazy. At first, it was just another day snowmobiling — until it wasn’t.
In March, Lorraine was snowmobiling to celebrate her 30th birthday at Frisby Ridge, north of Revelstoke. After sledding several kilometres on trail, she stopped to wait for her husband, stepping off her parked snowmobile onto uneven ground.
“I heard a crack, pop and collapsed,” she said.
“The pain was worse than childbirth.”
Lorraine had a tibia plateau fracture, just from stepping off her sled.
“I wasn’t really doing anything.”
|After six screws and a plate in her leg, Alli Lorraine can finally walk again. (Contributed)|
Lorraine said she couldn’t move without screaming in pain. So, her group activated their emergency device for search and rescue.
After two hours, the rescue team arrived in a side-by-side snowmobile. A nurse gave Lorraine pain medication and the team scooped her into something that looked like an inflatable bed, pulled by the side-by-side.
“The team was wonderful,” said Lorraine.
She was taken to hospital in Revelstoke, then to Vernon for surgery.
While at hospital in Revelstoke, Lorraine said the search and rescue team got another call, this time from a snowmobiler that had gotten a sled ski to the neck. The man had a broken femur and was unconscious.
“Everyone was running to get a trauma team ready,” she said.
Lorraine said there was at least three search and rescue calls that day.
“I don’t know what people in the backcountry would do without them,” she said.
“They are essential.”
Although Lorraine said she is an experienced snowmobiler of several years, accidents do happen. Since winter, almost 70 per cent of calls to the local search and rescue team has been from snowmobilers. Approximately 20 per cent were related to people being lost.
Since Jan. 1, Revelstoke Search and Rescue has had 52 calls and saved 47 lives — making it the second busiest team in the province after the North Shore in Vancouver.
This winter, there was a record number of calls to ground search and rescue groups across the province.
“When someone needs help, we help them,” said Giles Shearing, director of the Revelstoke Search and Rescue Society.
The team has 100 volunteers of varying skill levels, from ski guides to rafters and boaters. The rescues are also free.
“We help anyone in need. Regardless of where they’re from,” said Shearing.
REVSAR is funded by the province and from occasional donations. The society is also waiting for the city to provide them with land for a new building, however no deadline has been set.
“Search and rescue isn’t going anywhere. We’re here indefinitely. People won’t stop exploring,” said Shearing.
After six screws and a plate in her leg, Lorraine can finally walk again.
If it wasn’t for Revelstoke Search and Rescue, Lorraine said her accident could have been much worse.
“I wouldn’t go into the backcountry if they didn’t exist.”
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