Search and Rescue: North Shore docuseries returns for a second season

The grueling work that goes on behind the scenes at one of North America’s busiest search and rescue teams has hit the small screen again for season two.

The Knowledge Network’s Search and Rescue: North Shore promises to continue offering up astonishing footage of breathtaking rescues in our backyard.

The first season was filmed in 2019 – fortunately just before the pandemic. But the concept was around for a few years before that.

During season one, viewers were hooked in by spectacular helicopter hoists, perilous rope rescues, the IVs administered in the wilderness, the gaping wounds and other injuries members of the team have to treat hours away from any medical facility, and the sheer physical exertion required.

But the episodes also stress that the team is made of volunteers, who pick up and leave whatever they are doing to rescue people day and night. Members consist of doctors, nurses, and construction workers. We get to see how the constant calls affect the team’s family members.

Team leader Mike Danks is proud of the impact the series so far has had on people.

“And now they get to see the north shore backcountry in a totally different light,” he said. “The camera takes people to places they’d never get to see in their lifetime.”

Filming the rescues has been just as demanding as the rescues themselves.

“We send out three camera operators per callout,” said Grant Baldwin, who directs the series by way of Silvaparks Films. “We are on stand-by 24/7. We have to get to the rescue headquarters before the rescuers to film them when they arrive and get the unfolding story.”

Baldwin himself is one of those cinematographers.

He says a second season wasn’t always in the cards. He points out he wanted the next episodes to be even better than the last, and that continuing the series started to become a reality when there were major developments in search and rescue strategies.

“The team started to use night vision goggles,” Baldwin said. “And something we never expected to see….but they were given permission to do active helicopter hoisting at night.”

Plus, they stumbled upon an old box containing VHS tapes and photos of the team, so Baldwin thought the material could bring a new dimension to a continuing series.

The new episodes will follow team members as they change roles and pursue cold cases, he says.

He hints not all stories this season will end happily.

“There are some challenging calls this season that may not be easy to take for some viewers.”

Danks acknowledges responding to crises can take a toll, but that the way the volunteers deal with trauma is different from when he started on the team 28 years ago.

“We recognize the impact trauma can have on you. We need to share the difficult situations that we’ve been through. We need to acknowledge really tough calls and talk about them.”

Incidentally, the series is a bit of a swansong for Danks, who will be stepping down as team leader after ten years in that position. He is taking on more responsibility at his day job as a firefighter.

“It’s a really tough thing for me. It’s become a way of life. My family doesn’t know any different,” Danks said. “I am surrounded by so many amazing people. In search and rescue, it’s people who really want to be there.”

The good news is that Baldwin has now become a member of the search team.

The five new episodes are running now until the end of June on the Knowledge Network and can be watched anytime online.

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