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Posted: March 15, 2019

Council supports BCSAR’s alternative support model

By Riley Wilcox

City of Fernie council March 11 voted unanimously in favour of a motion to support a Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM)-led petition for Search and Rescue funding.

The UBCM petition is asking the province to implement a consistent and sustainable funding model for Search and Rescue groups to allow them to better provide efficient and effective search and rescue operations.

Fernie Search and Rescue members Rob Lanthier and Simon Piney were in attendance to support the petition.

Mayor Ange Qualizza noted that while the petition will move ahead through the UBCM it carries more impact when supported by Fernie city council. She also stated the importance of having the petition on record at the city.

The Alternative Support Model is a BC Search and Rescue Association (BCSAR)-led initiative to provide stable, long term funding and support for Ground Search and Rescue in the Province of British Columbia.

This project has involved consultation and input from every one of the 80 Search and Rescue groups in BC, and the current proposal is the result of this.

Search and Rescue groups across the province were previously funded with a series of one-year grants for the last three years. The 2019 budget did not include financial support for Search and Rescue groups.

Lead image: Fernie Search and Rescue responds to numerous calls for service every year. Fernie SAR image


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