The CRD board wants to ensure government funding is in place for search and rescue groups across B.C. and has asked staff to prepare a resolution for the upcoming NCLGA conference about the issue. File image

Provincial government needs to fund search and rescue: CRD

CRD board wants NCLGA resolution calling on the province to ensure secured funding is in place for SAR groups

An alternate director with the Cariboo Regional District wants certainty government funding will be given to search and rescue groups across the province.

“Many times people’s bacon has been saved by search and rescue,” said Mary Glassford, alternate director for Area I, during the CRD board meeting Friday in Williams Lake.

Glassford said she is upset because there were no funds allocated for search and rescue in the 2019 provincial budget.

“This isn’t right,” she said. “SAR does search and rescue on mountains, they do towns and cities, they look for kids that go missing, or the elderly wander off, they hard to stop suicide attempts in many different circumstances and are often the ones to pick up the pieces. They assist police on crimes scenes with evidence searches, some of them are the only ones on scene for remote accidents.

Read more: Concerns rise as B.C. search and rescue funding set to expire

There could be something coming down the pipes, however.

On Friday afternoon, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General Emergency Management BC put out a media advisory stating there will be a funding announcement on Saturday, March 23, regarding ground search and rescue teams in B.C. at the Coquitlam Search and Rescue and Fire Hall at 11 a.m.

A spokesperson for the office said no further information on the announcement was available at this time.

Glassford asked that a resolution on the topic be drafted for the upcoming North Central Local Government Association convention taking place in the lakecity in May.

The board received the resolution and voted to forward it to staff to write the resolution.

Quesnel city councillor Laurey-Anne Roodenburg, alternate director for Mayor Bob Simpson, said there have been ongoing requests through UBCM to the provincial government to provide sustained funding to SAR groups as far back as 2006.

“The reply back this year, which came back in February, was that they gave a $10 million grant in 2016, another $5 million in 2017,” Roodenburg said. “In February 2018, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General approved in principle for staff to develop for consideration a framework for a government-administered fund.”

Area D director Steve Forseth applauded Glassfordfor raising the issue and said it is important to keep the pressure up.

“If SARs have to fundraise for training and capital they may just throw up their arms and give up because you cannot fundraise for equipment on the backs of bake sales. You need these grants.”

Gerald Kirby, Area J director, is a member of the West Chilcotin Search and Rescue (WCSAR) and said it has always been supported by fundraising in the past.

“All the money the province put out last year was good, very helpful and went a long ways, but it was a one-time thing. The big issue for search and rescue is the ongoing costs that happen every year.”

Emily Epp, manager of communications for the CRD confirmed that SAR groups in the Cariboo Regional District receive funding from the CRD through taxation.

CCSAR is a CRD service and $246,422 is allocated for it in 2019, she said.

“We have contribution agreements with the other three,” Epp added, noting in 2019 $25,678 went to South Central SAR, $12,991 to North Central SAR and $5,134 to WCSAR.

Read more: CCSAR recruiting new members, hosting open house



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Coastal GasLink receives first delivery of pipe sections

Company expects to begin welding and pipe laying in 2020

Local first responders talk stress, debriefing

‘Like anyone dealing with trauma, we are just like them’

Snowfall warning in effect for Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, Chilcotin

Ten to 15 cm of snow is expected to fall beginning Thursday

EDITORIAL: Stay safe driving in the snow

The weekly editorial for the 100 Mile Free Press

Fashion Fridays: Ethical and sustainable gifts for the season

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

B.C. boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

B.C. Transit finds 28 used fareboxes online, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, unemployment rate climbs to 5.9%

Jobless rate is at its highest since August 2018, when it hit 6%

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Most Read