Province to give funding to SAR operations

On June 8, the provincial government announced its intention to invest in Search and Rescue (SAR) operations across British Columbia.

On June 8, the provincial government announced its intention to invest in Search and Rescue (SAR) operations across British Columbia.

Eight East Kootenay SAR operations, including Fernie and Sparwood, received a portion of the $517,000 in funding directed to the area. The funding is from a one-time investment commitment to the B.C. Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA) for $10 million. The funding will be distributed over a two-year period.

Fernie SAR is set to receive $79,930.81 while Sparwood SAR will receive $42,934.17 in funding from the provincial government. Both local organizations say the monies will go towards offsetting the operating costs of their SAR branches.

“We’re going to be dividing the money into a few areas where it would be a great help to our ongoing delivery of Search and Rescue services in the area. A portion will be used to provide more training to our members, including a number of new recruits who have signed on in the past few months, and to make sure all of our members are equipped with all the right personal protective equipment to do their jobs safely,” said Sparwood SAR Manager, Ed Ehrler. “Some funds will be used to supplement our operating budget so we can keep all our ongoing expenses paid and keep our vehicles and equipment well maintained. Then we’re planning to use the rest of the funding to go toward repairs and updates to our Search and Rescue hall. The building has been through a number of owners since it was built in the 1970’s, so we need to address a few decades worth of wear and tear along with updating things like insulation, electrical, and the interior so it will continue to be a healthy, safe and effective base of operations for our SAR volunteers.”

Fernie SAR Manager, Simon Piney, said he is happy to receive the funding from the provincial government.

“As you can imagine Fernie SAR is delighted to receive this level of funding support. We are grateful to the province for recognizing the contribution our members make to public safety in the area,” he said. “The funds will be used primarily to invest back into our members: training, rescue equipment, safety equipment and communications are all on our list.”

Ehler was also grateful for the provincial government’s support of SAR operations in B.C.

“We’d like to thank the Province of British Columbia for their support of SAR across the province, along with the volunteers of the BC Search and Rescue Association who’ve put in a lot of hard work getting the funding distributed and who continue to work on establishing a stable, long-term funding model for SAR in B.C.,” he said.

“The work our search and rescue volunteers do is nothing short of heroic, putting their own lives on the line to help others in very challenging conditions,” Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett said in a press release. “These are essential organizations in our communities and this funding will help them make needed upgrades and improve their services to the public.”


Just Posted

Education key to coexistence: CanWel

CanWel executives say education is key to the Fernie community and forestry… Continue reading

RCMP investigating break-and-enter attempts in Fernie

Police are investigating four reports of attempted break-and-enters at the condos and… Continue reading

Fernie food share program thrives under new partnership

Four times the amount of food is being saved from landfill under… Continue reading

Paramedics union raises alarm over spike in out-of-service ambulances

Staffing shortages affecting service levels in Kootenays

Fernie skier braves extremes to find ‘soul line’

Caleb Brown named male champion at backcountry ski competition

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

B.C. sees fourth straight day of record-breaking warmth

Bob Marley said it best: The sun is shining and the weather is sweet

Okanagan man, Yorkshire terrier chased by coyote

Animal sightings have been reported around West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan

B.C. lottery winner being sued by Surrey co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Pot industry welcomes decreased edibles tax, but unhappy medical tax remains

Taxes can increase the cost of medical cannabis by as much as 25 per ceny

‘It has to send a message:’ Broncos families await sentencing for truck driver

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving and apologized in court

MPs continue voting marathon as Tories protest shutdown of Wilson-Raybould motion

Multiple MPs have resigned from Trudeau’s Liberal cabinet

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

Most Read