Helly Hansen has announced its partnership with Squamish Search and Rescue (SSAR) as the organization’s official apparel partner. Embedded in Helly Hansen’s 140-year legacy is a commitment to creating gear that is trusted by professionals braving the world’s harshest environments. Thanks to close collaboration with these professionals, including SSAR, the brand is able to leverage key insights that build on that commitment and drive Helly Hansen’s long list of first-to-market innovations further.
Squamish Search and Rescue is a volunteer, community-based organization that provides 24/7 search and rescue services in and around Squamish, British Columbia, Canada. The members train throughout the year to maintain proficiency in various search and rescue techniques. SSAR completes around 50 operations each year in partnership with regional and provincial bodies including: Royal Canadian Mounted Police, B.C. Ambulance Service, Emergency Management B.C., District of Squamish, B.C. Coroners Service and other Search and Rescue Teams.
The partnership between SSAR and Helly Hansen serves as an exciting addition to a list of partnerships the brand has with other search and rescue teams across the globe. A focal point for the apparel-maker, these partnerships have become a valuable resource and key innovation-driver. “Working with professionals is at the core of our business and partnering with Squamish SAR shows our commitment to their important work in the outdoor community,” said Philip Tavell, HH Category Managing Director, Mountain. “This partnership enables us to work closely with all their amazing members and use their knowledge and unique insights to innovate and create professional grade outdoor products.”
Operating in the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada, Squamish Search and Rescue is a community-based organization comprised of a diverse group of volunteers, spanning a multitude of technical backgrounds. SSAR performs swiftwater, high-alpine avalanche, mountaineering, rock climbing and mountain bike rescues. With an imposing response area extending from Porteau Cove to the southern boundary of Whistler and Squamish Valley, the SSAR team is exposed to unrivaled backcountry conditions with a high potential for incidence. Inspired by SSAR’s rugged and potentially hostile terrain, Helly Hansen is proud to be outfitting the team in a full uniform kit that includes outerwear, midlayer, baselayer, accessories and footwear.
But outfitting SSAR is only the starting point for this partnership. In working with the rescue team, Helly Hansen wishes to increase visibility and knowledge of SSAR globally. “Squamish Search and Rescue is excited to be partnering with Helly Hansen for our team’s apparel needs,” said Cindy Welsh, Director, SSAR. “We chose Helly Hansen not only for the performance of their apparel but, like us, they are committed to ongoing education around safety and preparedness in the mountain environment globally. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with Helly Hansen as our team starts fundraising efforts for a new operational building for Squamish Search and Rescue.”
Furthermore, the brand wishes to build a profile of SSAR within their Mountain Collection and develop a range of products inspired by the lifestyle and work of SSAR professionals. “As a Squamish local, it is an absolute honour to partner with Squamish Search and Rescue and its dedicated members,” said Oliver Flaser, HH Category Managing Director, Professional Services. “We look forward to hearing feedback from members so we can build a uniform program that they trust will perform and keep them safe in challenging conditions and demanding rescue missions alike.”
Local efforts for this partnership will focus on increasing education and awareness surrounding mountain safety, all while amplifying SSAR’s mission of ensuring people recreate safely. Additionally, implementing fundraising efforts will be a key priority for Helly Hansen in their support of SSAR. To kick off their partnership, the Helly Hansen Canadian team will be running an online promotion starting July 15th and running through July 19th, 2021, where 5% of all Canadian e-commerce sales will be donated back to Squamish Search and Rescue.