Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue is receiving $75,000 in funding to help bolster training, and equipment for this critical public safety lifeline volunteers, Maple Ridge MLAs announced Monday.
This funding is part of the B.C. government’s $10-million in one-time funding commitment to the B.C. Search and Rescue Association to help bolster training, administrative support, and equipment renewals for the ground search and rescue organizations across the province.
“Providing this extra support to Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue means they can do more,” Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Marc Dalton said. “They are a vital organization in our community we are proud to support.”
The money received by the Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue will go toward training and equipment. Funding will go toward specialized rescue courses that are not already provided by the Justice Institute of B.C.
As well, travel and lodging will be covered during training courses, a cost that is usually paid out of pocket by volunteers.
The funding will also be used to replace some existing aging equipment and to purchase new equipment that support search and rescue operations.
As well, existing infrastructure at the base will be improved, and a new remote gear cache will be built.
“Search and rescue volunteers venture out in all conditions to help those lost in the backcountry,” Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Doug Bing said. “This additional support will make a difference for Ridge Meadows to help bolster their training and supports.”
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.