While many British Columbians count down to camping season in the wilderness, the B.C. Government has announced more funding for the B.C. Search and Rescue Association.
Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto says $5 million dollars will be in the bank Monday for the 80 search and rescue teams in the province.
She says the money will go towards annual necessities, including a high standard of training and equipment.
“Not just their equipment, but the training is updated, so all the search and rescue team members in British Columbia that are part of the B.C. Search and Rescue Association are all trained to the same high standard, that training is ongoing.”
“If they have to hire a helicopter, helicopter costs, fuel for vehicles, the insurance for the volunteers – all of the costs that are required to execute a search.
Yamamoto says this money is part of the $80 million emergency preparedness funding announced on March 15th.
She adds some of the funding is earmarked for ‘Adventure Smart’, an educational program to teach people about the wilderness in hopes of reducing future rescues.
Yamamoto says a separate $1 million has been provided to another search and rescue organization, the Heavy Urban Search and Rescue task force based in Vancouver.
“These first responders are trained to provide search and rescue services in large scale urban building collapses, so should we experience – or when we experience a major earthquake, these are the folks that will be there.”
According to the city of Vancouver, the HUSAR task force is one of four heavy urban search and rescue teams able to deploy anywhere in the country, and the only Canadian team that is certified to deploy around the world by the coordinator for UN Emergency Response.