FILE – Two specially trained members of the Chilliwack SAR team arrive on solid ground with the pair of climbers from Mt. Slesse. (Chilliwack SAR/Tony)

B.C. search and rescue groups responded to 700 calls in first half of 2020

Province announces annual funding as part of Budget 2020

It’s been a quiet year for travel so far, but that hasn’t stopped hundreds of British Columbians from getting lost or injured while out in the wilderness – sparking concerns by government officials and search and rescue volunteers.

Since January, ground search and rescue volunteers have responded to more than 700 calls throughout the province, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said during a funding announcement on Tuesday (July 21).

“Search and rescue volunteers take a risk every time they go out to rescue someone, and that risk is heightened due to COVID-19,” he said.

“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.”

READ MORE: B.C. sees spike in search and rescue calls ahead of COVID-19 restrictions easing

Farnworth announced that the province would be pledging $6 million annually for the 79 search and rescue teams in the province, beginning in 2022.

The new funding promise comes one year after the NDP government provided $18.6-million to the volunteer groups, marking the largest search and rescue funding in B.C.’s history.

The new funding is part of Budget 2020.

British Columbians are being asked to stay close to home when exploring the outdoors, staying on marked trails and maintaining physical distancing. Officials are urging people to pack appropriately – including adequate clothing for weather changes, as well as other provisions.

“When going into the outdoors, be prepared to take care of yourself and your family,” safety ministry said.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Search and Rescue

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police seek suspect in rash of Castlegar thefts

There have been a number of thefts over the last two weeks in Castlegar.

All Mercer Celgar workers in Castlegar return to work

At least 215 of the workers were laid off during a temporary mill shutdown in July

Columbia Avenue and Hwy 3 hot spots for crashes in Castlegar

In 2019, there were 624 accidents in Castlegar and 3047 over the last five years.

Nelson’s American sister city faces COVID-19 culture war

In Sandpoint, Idaho, wearing a mask is about Black Lives Matter, gun rights, and COVID-19

UPDATE: Body of Slocan River drowning victim recovered

The man was swimming near Winlaw on Wednesday.

Lawsuit launched after Florida child handcuffed, booked and briefly jailed

Suit alleges “deliberate indifference” to what should have been handled as a behavioural issue

Russia approves vaccine, Putin hopes to begin mass production

Critic calls decision to proceed without thorough testing ‘dangerous and grossly immoral’

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

Doctor slain in Alberta medical clinic was devoted father, husband

Red Deer doctors on edge after attack on colleague who had two young daughters

Royal B.C. Museum wants B.C.’s COVID-19 nature observations

COVID-19 Collecting For Our Time: ongoing project cataloguing province’s pandemic experience

Feds offer ‘life preserver’ funds to BC Ferries as pandemic sinks revenue

For every dollar the province spends the federal government will match

Bad behaviour at B.C. restaurants ignites campaign calling for respect

“If you can’t follow the rules, then stay home,” says BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association

Over half of Americans oppose Trump tariff on Canadian aluminum: survey

The survey was conducted Aug. 7 to 9 among 1,513 Canadians and 1,003 Americans

Most Read