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CUPE mourns death of search & rescue leader, paramedic mentor

CUPE mourns death of search & rescue leader, paramedic mentor

NORTH VANCOUVER-Tributes are pouring in from around the province and across the country for long-time CUPE 873 ambulance paramedic and tireless North Shore Rescue team leader Tim Jones. Jones died suddenly of a heart attack Sunday night while returning to the city from a rescue cabin on Mount Seymour. He was 57.

“In his over three decades of service, Tim has saved countless lives, both in our communities and in the mountains. To say that the Paramedic family and British Columbians in general have suffered a tremendous loss would be an understatement,” said CUPE 873, which represents 3,600 ambulance paramedics and emergency dispatchers in BC.

CUPE BC president Mark Hancock offered condolences to Tim Jones’ family, friends and colleagues calling him “an exemplary British Columbian whose commitment, passion and dedication to helping others through his work and his community touched and saved so many lives. We are proud and honoured that he was a CUPE member.”

Jones was the North Vancouver ambulance station chief and an advanced life support paramedic. He was awarded the Order of British Columbia in 2011 for his unflagging dedication to his work as a paramedic and his fulltime volunteer career building North Shore Rescue into a world class model search and rescue operation that has found more than 1,000 people and saved dozens of lives over the past three decades.

CUPE 873 Squamish ambulance station chief BJ Chute, like many current and former ambulance paramedics in BC, credits Tim Jones with encouraging him to become a first responder and to get involved in search and rescue. “He’s the reason I’m a paramedic”, says Chute, “it’s that simple.”

“I first met Tim when I was 19 and he offered to take me on a ride-along in an ambulance. That night he introduced me to other paramedics and got me interested. He helped me get my first aid and guided me through the hiring process. Six months later, I was hired as a paramedic,” explains Chute. 

The BC premier’s office issued a statement saying Tim Jones “represented the North Shore and BC at our absolute best. 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.”

A memorial service organized by North Shore Rescue is being planned for the Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver on Saturday, Jan. 25. 

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