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Posted: December 16, 2014

BCSARA gets $50,000 for training

The Province of British Columbia is providing a $50,000 boost to support training for Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteers in the province.

The one-time funding for the British Columbia Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA) will supplement first aid training for SAR volunteers, aligning with Emergency Management BC’s (EMBC) strategy to empower and strengthen volunteer organizations.

Through EMBC, the B.C. government already provides $310,000 in annual funding to BCSARA and Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR):

* $35,000 to support BCSARA administrative functions (new in 2014);

* $25,000 to support travel for the annual BCSARA board meeting; and,

* $250,000 for the development and delivery of GSAR training.

“The safety of all British Columbians is a key priority for our government and we are committed to strengthening and empowering volunteer organizations like the BC Search and Rescue Association, to ensure volunteers receive the necessary training for those challenging circumstances when search and rescue services are required,” said Suzanne Anton, Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

“By further funding training across the province, we can not only help search and rescue organizations become proficient in the most current standards, but also better protect the lives of our responders,” added Chris Kelly, president, BC Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA).

“Any additional funding to support training and safety of SAR volunteers is appreciated. The BCSARA board strives to access grants and other sources of funding to address the growing challenges for SAR groups and volunteers, while working co-operatively with the province to address emergent needs.”

Emergency management BC is responsible to British Columbians for leading the management of provincial-level emergencies and disasters and supporting other authorities within their areas of jurisdiction.

BCSARA represents the 80 SAR groups and their members in B.C. and provides advice to the provincial government on GSAR-related matters.

The association brings together SAR professionals to discuss and resolve issues, accesses funding for training, provides health and safety support, acts as a common link to information and resources for SAR practitioners and supports education of the general public on outdoor safety.

BCSARA responds to approximately 1,300 calls for assistance annually.


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