One-time funding to ground search and rescue (GSAR) groups throughout the province to be used over the next three years.
This funding will help the BC Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA) and GSAR groups bolster training, provide administrative support and equipment renewals. It also will support the Province and BCSARA in work to develop and implement a new governance and funding model.
“In discussions with BCSARA, I’ve heard the ground search and rescue community’s strong concerns about the need for both an immediate infusion of funding and a clearer path toward long-term sustainable funding,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “That’s why we’re providing a record-level of funding as an immediate top-up of what B.C.’s GSAR groups are already receiving, as well as establishing a joint committee to move more quickly toward developing a sustainable funding model.”
The $18.6 million represent the single largest provincial GSAR investment in B.C.’s history – a 24% increase from $5 million per year in supplemental funding announced in 2016. The new funding is in addition to funding that the Province already provides each year – $9 million in 2017-18 – to cover GSAR operational costs for deployment, as well as training and equipment costs, and the insurance and liability for the 80 groups serving B.C.
The Province’s 2,500 registered search and rescue volunteers provide a vital public safety service for citizens and visitors, responding to more than 1,600 incidents each year.