Three Cariboo and Chilcotin-based search and rescue organizations have received a combined total of more than $129,000 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, noted a government press release.
South Cariboo Search and Rescue is receiving $64,836.69, Central Cariboo Search and Rescue is receiving $39,803.19 and West Chilcotin Search and Rescue will get $25,000.
“This additional funding is richly deserved for the difficult work these volunteers do, often in the most challenging conditions,” Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett said. “As organizations that depend on volunteers, this extra boost will make a difference.”
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 during 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.