On Sunday March 26 2017, the province of BC announced a one-time $5 million announcement for the 80 recognized ground search and rescue groups across the province.
Chris Kelly, President of BCSARA, stated following the announcement of the $5 million, “The British Columbia Search and Rescue Association is extremely pleased to receive this additional funding on behalf of the 80 groups and 2,500 volunteers across the province. It will allow for a third year of disbursements to the groups, as well as to continue provincial initiatives such as the AdventureSmart prevention program. Continuity in funding allows us to plan ahead for the next 2 years, lifting some of the pressures from the volunteers. From Atlin to Sparwood, Fort Nelson to Campbell River, Golden to Coquitlam, SAR groups are able to move major projects ahead and fill gaps in equipment and training.”
Some additional points:
- The majority of the $5 million will be disbursed to GSAR groups at the start of fiscal year 2018-19, using the same process currently underway this year.
- Funding for provincial initiatives such as the Critical Incident Stress Management program and will continue.
- We do not anticipate any major changes to the criteria for use of the funding from this year.
- This funding is in addition to that from other sources, not to replace any current funding.
- This additional funding provides the opportunity for longer term planning, as we continue to work with the Province on the Alternative Support Model.