NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – In the first six months of this year, North Shore Rescue has responded to help about two people a week. It’s a commitment of about 20,000 total hours from a team of volunteers and it comes at a cost.

The organization is hoping to set up a $5 million legacy fund to keep the team going for years to come.

Tim Jones with North Shore Rescue says people are very supportive of what they do and raising funds isn’t a problem. But it is not a constant flow of cash.

“We want to go from a peak and valley-type fundraising to steady funding,” Jones explains. “It’s essential that we do that because we have to continue on with what we are doing. What we are doing right now works, but the model has to have this legacy fund.”

After police, ambulance and fire, North Shore Rescue is the next in emergency response. In recent years, the team has become involved with more dramatic, dangerous rescues. To do so, Jones claims it costs money for training, recruiting, logistics, expensive helicopter equipment and communications.

“We have to treat it almost like a small business. To sustain it the way we’re currently fundraising, it’s not going to work out. We rely on a core group of members of the team, doing this fundraising,” Jones adds.

And as volunteers, those people move on or have other commitments. He fears without the legacy fund, the team will struggle to pull people out of the most dangerous scenarios — the ones they are currently the only people who can respond to “in crappy weather, low light and in the backcountry.”

The first half of 2012 has been a busy one for crews, and Jones doesn’t expect it to slow down during the rest of the year.