The new funding will allow Kimberley Search and Rescue to maintain their equipment, such as their truck. KSAR file.

The new funding will allow Kimberley Search and Rescue to maintain their equipment, such as their truck. KSAR file.

Kimberley Search and Rescue ‘ecstatic’ over funding stability announcement

Provincial government will fund Ground Search and Rescue across the province at $6 million a year

Search and Rescue operations across the province rejoiced last week as the long-awaited promise of funding stability finally arrived.

Last Tuesday, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth announced that his government will provide annual funding of $6 million to support ground search and rescue operations across the province, beginning in 2022-2023.

“B.C.’s ground search and rescue groups have been calling for long-term, sustainable funding, and we’ve worked with them to meet this need,” Farnworth said. “But funding is only one way to show our support. Search and rescue volunteers take a risk every time they go out to rescue someone, and that risk is heightened due to COVID 19. I’m calling on all British Columbians to be safe and to make sure your family, friends and neighbours are being safe, so we can reduce the risks for everyone.”

Kimberley Search and Rescue President Peter Reid says it’s amazing news.

“It’s an opportunity for stability. It helps us to plan,” he said.

There was a major funding announcement last year as the province provided $18.6 but it was not long term as is the latest announcement.

READ: East Kootenay search and rescue managers welcome new funding

“We’ve done well with fundraising, but this allows us the opportunity to create a strategic plan and focus on training, Reid said.”

Kimberley Search and Rescue has come a long way since it began in 1999 as basically an adjunct to the Fire Department, Reid says.

“Gone are the days when we rolled out of a VW van, in a billow of smoke and said ‘dude, which way did he go?’

“We’ve added so many capabilities to the team. We have five trucks, sleds, a trailer, and they all cost money to maintain.

“I’m just ecstatic because as some point we are going to have to move out of city hall. Now we can focus fundraising on that and not training and equipment.”

Reid says search and rescue organizations across the province have been asking for funding stability for the past six or seven years.

READ: Kimberley Search and Rescue concerned after no SAR funds announced in new BC Budget

“We were the only emergency group not funded. And SAR is relied upon by other emergency services.

“Money will always be a challenge but now we can plan.”

Reid says it is also a recognition that tourism is a huge part of B.C.’s economy, and not just tourism in Vancouver, but the backcountry.

Backcountry access is improving, as snowmobiles can go higher and further than ever, and more and more people want to access remote places.

Since January 2020, ground search and rescue volunteers have responded to more than 700 calls throughout the province.

“This announcement of sustainable funding and support for the 79 groups and their 2,500 unpaid professional members is truly a milestone for the ground search and rescue service in B.C.,” said Chris Kelly, president, on behalf of the BCSARA board.

British Columbians are asked to do their part:

Stay close to home on well-marked trails, while maintaining physical distancing.

Make sure to pack the right provisions and clothing appropriate for the weather.

When going into the outdoors, be prepared to take care of yourself and your family.

Follow the provincial health officer’s directions.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Search and Rescue

Just Posted

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

The Aquatic Centre at Western Financial Place.
Cranbrook Aquatic Center to close temporarily

The annual shutdown of the Aquatic Center at Western Financial Place will begin earlier than scheduled this year and does not have a defined end date at this time.

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Ryan McKenzie of the Kimberley Trails Society made an in-depth presentation to City Council describing the initial steps of the Electrify the Mountains eBike trails project. This is a look at the project one map.
Kimberley City Council hears details on Electrify the Mountain project

At the meeting of City Council on Tuesday, June 8 Ryan McKenzie… Continue reading

The Kimberley Public Library invites kids of all ages to join the 2021 BC Summer Reading Club. Kimberley Public Library file
Kimberley kids invited to join summer reading club at Public Library

The Kimberley Public Library invites kids of all ages to join the… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read