The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) handed the South Cariboo Search and Rescue in 100 Mile House a $50,000 cheque for their efforts during the 2017 wildfires.
“There was a significant impact on the community,” said RBC branch manager, Scott Saito. “We wanted to make a contribution to show our gratitude for what they’ve done.”
The donation means a lot, says Search and Rescue Society (SARS) vice-president Cameron Jensen.
“It’s just huge to know the community, businesses and individuals who give us donations, that they want to support us.
“This is a total game changer.”
The entire donation will go into purchasing a truck; a customized pickup chassis fitted to carry various types of gear allowing the crew to carry out any type of operation they need to do, such as swift water rescue gear, ropes and stretchers.
Saito, who has been the branch manager for seven years and is a resident of 108 Mile, said the RBC foundation reached out to him for an opportunity to get involved with the community after the fire. The foundation will also be making more donations, including to the Interlakes Volunteer Fire Department.
“It’s a significant amount of money to donate to a small community so it’s a proud moment as an RBC employee to be part of this and to have the company support us the way they have,” said Saito.
The South Cariboo Search and Rescue Society is a member of the British Columbia Provincial Emergency Program and operates under the leadership of the RCMP. They are mobilized by the RCMP, BC Ambulance Service, Fire Departments and the Coroner’s Service in various situations, including missing person(s) searches, and rescues in swift water, lake ice, avalanche and technical rope situations. The society was heavily involved in the summer fires, from 100 Mile to Green Lake to Clinton to Williams Lake.
“We had team members all through there, two of our search managers were responsible leading those evacuations at the request of the RCMP. We were extremely involved,” said Jensen, who moved to the society’s hall for two weeks when the evacuation orders were given.