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Kamloops News

Support for local search and rescue

Search and rescue volunteers train for rope rescues.
Image Credit: SOURCE/Wells Gray Search and Rescue

The Wells Gray Search and Rescue team spent three times more hours in training than performing tasks over the past 12 months. This is typical of search and rescue groups in B.C. as volunteers often spend hours upon hours preparing for a worst-case scenario. Once they receive a call out they work hard to avoid those scenarios and get the best outcome possible for everyone involved. This training requires time and money to complete.

As a result five local groups are asking the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board this week for more than $110,000 for training, operations and equipment as they wrap up the winter season of backcountry skiers and avalanche calls and prepare for water and injured or lost hiker calls

Barriere, Kamloops, Logan Lake, Nicola Valley and Wells Gray search and rescue teams will each receive a $10,000 annual operating grant while the South Cariboo team will receive a $3,325 annual operating grant.

In addition the groups are receiving equipment and training grants totalling more than $60,000. The equipment and training grants are 50 per cent cost shared between the TNRD and the applying team.

Wells Gray Search and Rescue is to get $31,835 for equipment and training, nearly double any other rescue group. The team is looking at adding a lot of equipment this year, including a new truck, inflatable boat, jet outboard, snow gear and protection equipment. The Kamloops team is adding swift water kits, avalanche probes, satellite phones and protection equipment and is receiving just under $18,000 in equipment and training grants. Both groups are also training in different types of rescues.

The TNRD budgeted $155,000 for search and rescue this year, which leaves about $40,000 in the coffers for fall applications.

Between the 84 search and rescue teams across the province more than 1,300 incidents were attended over the last year, the highest number of incidents in the history of search and rescue in B.C. according to Emergency Management B.C.

To contact a reporter for this story, email or call (250) 819-3723.

News from © iNFOnews, 2013

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