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Search and rescue funding distributed to groups across province

Funding from the province of B.C. has now been distributed to ground search and rescue groups, according to the BC Search and Rescue Association.

A total of $5,961,000 was provided by the province, according to BCSAR. They say of the fund, $4,918,750 was sent to SAR groups directly with the rest being used to fund the BC Search and Rescue Association for daily operations and the prevention of critical incident stress management programs.

The association says this is the first year they have received sustainable provincial funding and is a unique agreement in Canada. They add the purpose is to cover SAR readiness to respond to calls for help.

BC Search and Rescue Association president Chris Mushumanski says the funding has been years in the making.

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“This is the culmination of many years of hard work by many leaders before me and, on behalf of the search and rescue volunteers, I thank them for their efforts,” said Mushumanski.

“I also want to thank the Province of B.C. and Minister Mike Farnworth for this fantastic support. We are definitely partners in saving the lives of thousands of people every year.”

The association adds the funding covers around 50 per cent of the cost for search and rescue activities and the teams must fundraise the rest.

Files by Justin Waddell, My Comox Valley Now

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