British Columbia Search and Rescue Association
The British Columbia Search and Rescue Association is a non-profit charitable association formed to represent the 80 BC Search and Rescue groups. The BC Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA) exists to represent all of the volunteer Ground Search and Rescue teams in the Province of BC. The association brings together SAR professionals to discuss and resolve issues, to access funding for training, to provide occupational health and safety support, to educate general public on outdoor safety and to act as a common link to information and resources for Search and Rescue practitioners across British Columbia.
BCSARA Groups respond to about 1300 callouts annually, with SAR Groups such as Squamish, North Shore, and Chilliwack responding to well over 60 call-outs annually on their own. Statistics show a steady increase in call volume since 1991.
Working with Government support via Emergency Management BC, BCSARA groups receive a task number for which they are able to claim certain costs for their operations, with volunteers receiving meals, mileage and coverage for lost and/or damaged equipment while on task. In addition, EMBC and the BC RCMP provide funding for training which is predominantly available from the Justice Institute of BC.