VERNON/SALMON ARM – Two search and rescue organizations in the North Okanagan and Shuswap have received a combined total of more than $163,000 from the B.C. government’s $10 million in one-time funding commitments to the B.C. Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA).

The funding helps bolster training, administrative support and equipment renewals for these critical public-safety lifeline volunteers.

The recipients:

  • Vernon Search and Rescue: $100,000
  • Shuswap Search and Rescue: $63,651.58

“This extra funding helps cover the significant operating costs these organizations face each year,” Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster said. “As organizations that depend on volunteers, this extra boost will make a difference.”

“When a loved one goes missing, the men and women of search and rescue are a beacon of hope,” Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo said. “These dedicated volunteers give assistance whenever they’re needed, often in the worst conditions, and I thank them for their efforts.”

The money received by the organizations will go toward activities such as training for technical search and rescue responses, personal protective equipment to ensure their members are safe, and other equipment that supports search and rescue operations.

The $10 million in BCSARA funding will take place over a two-year period, based on the proposed Alternative Support Model that was supported by its members. These funding allocations are given according to the needs of the local ground search and rescue teams to replace or update equipment, provide administrative support and pay for new or additional training.

This investment builds on the $6.3 million the B.C. government is already providing each year to cover ground search and rescue operational costs for deployment, as well as training and equipment costs, and the insurance and liability for the members of the 80 groups serving across the B.C. landscape.