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

Northern Health saw 14 cases in one day earlier this week, the highest in one day since the beginning of the pandemic. (Image courtesy CDC)
Northern Health sees highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

Oct. 27 saw the highest number of cases in the Health Authority since the beginning of the pandemic

<em>Black Press file photo</em>
Water Quality Advisory in effect for Kitimat

The advisory is due to increased turbidity levels in the Kitimat River

Bob Rypma, left, and Jim Tiviotdale, former and current Kitimat Flying Club presidents, respectively, standing on the moss-covered runway at the Kitimat Air Park, which will be redone in the coming year thanks to a grant approved by the BC Airports Access Program. (Clare Rayment photo)
Kitimat Air Park to get major refurbishment, helipad

The club has been in the process of applying for the grant for two years, including two applications

WorkSafeBC is investigating after a death at a Kitimat concrete plant last Friday (Oct. 23) (Black Press file photo)
BC Coroners Service, WorkSafeBC investigating after death at Kitimat worksite

The fatality occurred last Friday (Oct. 23) and investigations into the incident are underway

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee arrive for annual Cascadia conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. They have agreed to coordinate the permanent switch to daylight saving time. (B.C. government)
B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

Clocks going back one hour Nov. 1 in Washington too

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Commissioner Austin Cullen looks at documents before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, in Vancouver on February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
RCMP lacked dedicated team to investigate illegal activities at casino, inquiry hears

Hearings for the inquiry are set to continue into next week and the inquiry is expected to wrap up next year

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Court approves money for B.C. foster children alleging harm from Kelowna social worker

The maximum combined total award for basic payments and elevated damages for an individual is $250,000

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never-before-seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Most Read