Remembering Tim Jones: Tributes pour in for the North Shore Rescue team leader

Video:  Tributes are pouring in today for Tim Jones.  As Grace Ke reports, he is being remembered for his tireless heroic efforts which helped save countless lives.

Friends and coworkers of Tim Jones are speaking out this morning about the man he was and the legacy he leaves behind.

Jones died suddenly on Sunday night while coming down from the rescue team’s cabin on Mount Seymour. He was rushed to Lions Gate Hospital with a police escort, but it was too late to save him.

Those who knew Jones remember him as a great leader and a great man.

North Vancouver City Mayor Darrell Mussatto has known Jones since 1981.

“He was like my mentor,” he said. “He was the guy I looked up to. When I went through university, he had just gone through before me. He became a teacher, I became a teacher.”

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“He became a paramedic, I wanted to become a paramedic.”

Mussatto said Jones was a leader in the community and always did things for others. “He was just an amazing guy,” he said.

“He’s a great athlete, I think he was drafted in the CFL way back when, when he came out of high school, and he was just like a Renaissance man.”

Video: An emotional Grace Ke shares a personal Tim Jones encounter with Global News:

District of North Vancouver fire chief Victor Penman has known Jones for about 20 years.

The fire department worked very closely with North Shore Rescue on a number of occasions.

“I know the thoughts and hearts of everyone in my organization go out to first and foremost, Tim’s family, and certainly to the organizations he cared so much about,” said Penman, adding that Jones is one of the best leaders he has ever met.

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“The charisma that he had, the energy, his dedication to everyone around him, not only in his own organization but to his partner agencies like the fire department and the police departments,” said Penman.

He added that Jones always gave 1,000 per cent to whatever he was doing.

“In the end we were all better off having that personal and professional relationship with him, because he really did make everyone around him better and more effective,” said Penman.

“He’s just an amazing citizen.”

“His presence and his energy in the community of the North Shore will never be forgotten.”

North Vancouver-Seymour MLA Jane Thornthwaite issued a statement on Jones’ passing, reading in part:

“I consider myself lucky to have known Tim personally and to have been a friend of his.  Anyone who knew him can attest to his warmth as a caring individual who always put others before himself.

“My thoughts and condolences are with Tim’s friends and colleagues at North Vancouver’s BC Ambulance Serviceand North Shore Rescue, but especially with his wife Lindsay, his son Curtis, and daughter Taylor. Tim will be deeply missed by all who knew him, by people whose lives he touched, and those who are alive today thanks to his kindness and commitment. The entire North Shore community and British Columbia have lost a true hero.”

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Premier Christy Clark issued a statement on Jones’ passing Monday morning, saying in part:

“Tim represented the North Shore and B.C. 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.

North Shore Rescue was a full-time, often dangerous job – which makes it all the more amazing that it was voluntary. On his own, Tim built one of North America’s most innovative and successful search-and-rescue teams. To date, they have found over 1,000 people and saved dozens of lives.

I was honoured to present Tim with the Order of British Columbia in 2011. I can think of no one who deserved it more.”

Video: Cameron Eby worked as a paramedic alongside Tim Jones and spoke with BC1’s Sonia Sunger about Tim’s legacy

The B.C. Ambulance Service has also released a statement saying:

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“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.”

Jones is survived by his wife and two children.

A service in celebration of Jones’ life is being planned for noon Saturday, Jan. 25 at Centennial Theatre.

Video: Unfiltered’s Jill Krop speaks to Don Bindon, BCSARA President and Ross Hallaway, BC paramedic

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