PG Search and Rescue Gets Cash Infusion
MLAs Mike Morris and Shirley Bond with PG Search and Rescue’s Dave Merritt, Jeff Smedley and Trent Blair-photo 250News
Prince George, B.C.- With two major projects in the wings, Prince George Search and Rescue has been given some funding that will help them reach their goals.
MLA’s Shirley Bond and Mike Morris were on hand at the Prince George Search and Rescue home on the Hart Highway to announce PG SAR will receive $93, 364.41 this year and next. “The funding will provide Prince George Search and Rescue with the opportunity to replace some of the equipment and fund special training” says MLA Shirley Bond.
The funding is part of the $10 million dollars the Province had previously announced for Search and Rescue organizations in BC. The funding will augment dollars PG SAR is able to get through Gaming Grants as the gaming fund amounts can fluctuate. The application for a new Gaming grant has just been filed.
“We’ve got a couple of high ticket projects we’re working on ” says long time PG SAR member Jeff Smedley “Were very grateful to the Province, as this ( money) couldn’t come at a more opportune time. One of the projects we’re working on is the Class D fixed line, that’s the rope underneath a helicopter.” The closest such long line service is in Jasper, the next closest is in Kelowna. “It’s going to cost close to a 100 thousand dollars to get that going.”
The second major project is a new response vehicle says Smedley “Our truck here, we’ve had for about 16 years now. It works really good as a command vehicle, but carrying all that extra weight does take it’s toll, so we’re looking at replacing it down the road. ” Smedley says without the funding received today, PG SAR would have to go back to the public “With cap in hand, looking for donations.”
There are 80 Search and Rescue Teams across B.C., twenty four of them are located north of 100 Mile House, responsible for covering 73% of the Province. Prince George SAR is considered the ‘hub” for SAR in the north, and is often called upon to assist other Search and Rescue operations. “We are spread over a vast area” says PG SAR’s Trent Blair, “We are getting more and more rescues, but it is a large area.” He says the dollars received by PG SAR and the other Search and Rescue teams across the province are sure to put the dollars to good use.