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New Provincial Funding Disbursed to BC Search and Rescue Teams – $390 K for the Fraser Valley Teams

Fraser Valley/Victoria – 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 the first year to receive sustainable provincial funding.  This funding is a unique agreement in Canada and a first for B.C. It is also the first time any SAR funding is part of a Provincial Budget.

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.

The Fraser Valley region is comprised of six search and rescue groups including Chilliwack SAR.  A total of approximately $390,000 was disbursed between these six groups.  Each group receives a different amount depending on a formula that is calculated based on each GSAR group’s approved capabilities and related qualifications (based upon need).

Also, it should be noted that this funding covers about 50% of any GSAR group’s preparedness to be ready to respond to searches and rescues (for equipment and training) but that all costs that occur during an actual search are covered directly by Emergency Management BC (the Province) and are separate from this funding.

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.

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