Surrey Ground Search and Rescue Society is receiving a boost of $69, 441.76 as part of the province’s $10 million in one-time funding commitments to the BC Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA) to help bolster training, administrative support and equipment renewals for these critical public safety lifeline volunteers.
“Although we have not decided exactly how the funding will be used, this grant will help fund some of the team’s ongoing projects,” said Surrey Search and Rescue President Don Burgess. “It takes some of the fundraising pressure off and lets us concentrate on training and responding to calls in the communities that we are proud to serve.”
“Nothing is more important than a timely response to rescue a person in distress on land or on the water,” said Surrey-Tynehead MLA Amrik Virk. “Surrey Search and Rescue volunteers regularly put their own safety at risk to save lives on some of the most complex terrain and most challenging waters in B.C. This investment will give them the tools and training they need to conduct tough and successful rescue missions.”
“Search and rescue volunteers are first to remind everyone that proper preparation is vital to a safe enjoyable outdoor adventure,” said Surrey-Fleetwood MLA Peter Fassbender. “But it’s nice to know that our very own Surrey Search and Rescue team will be fast on the scene to find lost or injured people around the clock and 365 days a year. This funding will help them improve their response capacity at a much higher level.”
The money received by the Ground Search and Rescue Society will go toward 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.