New provincial funding disbursed to B.C. search and rescue teams
Jun 15, 2022 | Press Release
All 2022 funding received from the B.C. Government has now been disbursed to ground search and rescue (GSAR) groups across the province. This is our first year to receive sustainable provincial funding and we thank the Province for its support. This funding is a unique agreement in Canada and a first for B.C.
The purpose of provincial funding is to cover search and rescue readiness to respond to every call for help (equipment and training). Funding in the amount of $5,961,000 was received and, of that, $4,918,750 was issued to GSAR groups directly. The remainder is used to fund the BC Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA), which represents the 3,000+ ground search and rescue members in B.C., in its daily operations that also include prevention and critical incident stress management programs.
Provincial funding covers approximately 50% of the cost for search and rescue activities and, as such, GSAR teams must also fundraise to cover the other 50% through their local communities and regional districts, and through public donations. If you wish to support these volunteers or a specific team in your local area, please feel free to contact us and we will help you to help them.
“This is the culmination of many years of hard work by many leaders before me and, on behalf of the search and rescue volunteers, I thank them for their efforts. I also want to thank the Province of B.C. and Minister Mike Farnworth for this fantastic support. We are definitely partners in saving the lives of thousands of people every year.” – Chris Mushumanski, President, BC Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA)
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Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) in British Columbia is provided solely by volunteers. On call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, these unpaid professionals provide their time, their own personal gear and their dedication and expertise at no cost to the people of B.C. and to the individuals they rescue. BCSARA is proud to represent the 3,000+ GSAR volunteers in B.C. who make up 79 teams across the province. To donate to support these volunteers, please visit here.