Vanderhoof’s search and rescue team upgrades mobile headquarters

Vanderhoof’s search and rescue team can soon replace its 25-year-old command vehicle for managing rescues.

With the assistance of Tom Derksen (left) at Vanderhoof’s Westline Ford

Vanderhoof’s search and rescue team can soon replace its 25-year-old command vehicle for managing rescues.

With $100,000 of gaming grant funding recently approved, Nechako Valley Search and Rescue purchased a new vehicle from Vanderhoof’s local car dealership this November to house the new command unit.

“NVSAR has been planning to purchase a new command vehicle since April 2016 to replace our current one that is over 25 years old,” said NVSAR’s president Chris Mushumanski. “In April 2016, the provincial government announced a one-time $10 million grant to all 80 ground SAR groups in B.C. Given to the British Columbia Search and Rescue Association to allocate, the association is spreading these funds over 2 years.

“NVSAR will be using our two-year allocation from BCSARA to pay for radio licensing, personal protective equipment, tracking training, and a new command vehicle.

“The $100,000 moves us very close to funding the entire $220,000 command vehicle, with the remaining funds expected to come from other grant applications in the next few months.”

B.C.’s ground SAR groups currently have no guaranteed sustainable funding, so the primary method for most groups to fund their equipment, training, and personal protective equipment needs is through a gaming grant, the applications of which require a high level of information, Mushumanski said. The expected delivery date for the finished mobile command centre is August 2017.