In the News

Mar 24, 2019

Funding Model for SAR

The Government of British Columbia has announced funding of $18.6 million for the 80 recognized Ground Search and Recue (GSAR) organizations across the province. This will provide 3 years of stable funding to those long-standing and dedicated groups of volunteers, so they can begin to implement the BCSARA Alternative Support Model. This investment in search and rescue provides much needed predictable funding championed since 2013, and compliments funding supports already in place from local governments and other sources.

After years of ongoing fundraising efforts and time-consuming grant applications, the long-term goal of establishing stable long-term training and equipment funding for this die-hard community of ground SAR volunteers has finally been realized. Members across the entire BC Ground Search and Rescue community – some 2500 volunteers – have expressed "delight" with this announcement.

Members of BCSARA and the 80 GSAR groups released a press release to thank "the many elected officials across all levels of government in BC who voiced support for funding search and rescue, the many government officials who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to see this announcement happen, and to the general public for sharing our concerns on social media and reaching out to their elected officials voicing support."

BCSARA will begin work immediately to implement a plan that will effectively allocate and distribute the funds quickly to the 80 GSAR groups, to the AdventureSmart SAR prevention and BCSARA Critical Incident Stress Management Programs. Work will also begin in setting the ground work for implementing the Alternative Support Model, including hiring support employees for BCSARA and the GSAR community. As the plan is built, messaging to the groups will come through your regional directors.

This is a momentous day for the ground search and rescue community in BC, and other provinces may well be watching to emulate such a progressive step forward in their own backyards.