For the Townsman
CRANBROOK – Eight search and rescue organizations in the East Kootenay region have received a combined total of more than $517,000 from the B.C. government’s $10 million in one-time funding commitments to the B.C. Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA).
The funding helps bolster training, administrative support and equipment renewals for these critical public-safety lifeline volunteers.
• Columbia Valley Search and Rescue: $82,441.61
• Cranbrook Search and Rescue: $27,160.81
• Elkford Search and Rescue: $25,000
• Fernie Search and Rescue: $79,930.81
• Golden and District Search and Rescue: $98,875.21
• Kimberley Search and Rescue: $63,052.20
• Revelstoke Search and Rescue: $98,348.63
• Sparwood Search and Rescue: $42,934.17
“The work our search and rescue volunteers do is nothing short of heroic, putting their own lives on the line to help others in very challenging conditions,” Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett said. “These are essential organizations in our communities and this funding will help them make needed upgrades and improve their services to the public.”
The money received by the organizations will go toward activities such as training for technical search and rescue responses, personal protective equipment to ensure their members are safe, and other equipment that supports search and rescue operations.
The $10 million in BCSARA funding will take place over a two-year period, based on the proposed Alternative Support Model that was supported by its members. These funding allocations are given according to the needs of the local ground search and rescue teams to replace or update equipment, provide administrative support and pay for new or additional training.
This investment builds on the $6.3 million the B.C. government is already providing each year to cover ground search and rescue operational costs for deployment, as well as training and equipment costs, and the insurance and liability for the members of the 80 groups serving across the B.C. landscape.