Nechako Valley Search and Rescue (NVSAR) found out recently they were successful in securing a $25,000 AgriSpirit federal government grant to go towards the purchase of their new mobile command centre vehicle. This is in addition to the competitive deal from Westline Ford on the baseline Ford F550 truck and $100,000 secured from the Community Gaming grant for a total value of the project coming in at $228,000.
The 22 ft long vehicle is built to provincial standard SAR with customised adaptations and modifications and fully outfitted to carry the tools required for search and rescue work. The vehicle with between four to five times the amount of storage capacity than its predecessor will be delivered to Vanderhoof in mid October and NVSAR will have a grand opening then with funding partners.
NVSAR currently has 33 active members. The volunteer member group has grown from about 12 – 20 members about five years ago. They used to receive between six to ten calls per year, but in recent years calls volume has increased to between 14 – 15 calls per year. The highest number of calls NVSAR has responded to per year so far has been 25.
Earlier in the fire season 11 NVSAR members responded to a mutual aid call from the wildfire areas around 100 mile house. They went to help with the rural areas evacuation and worked for three days with six other SAR groups. There they were able to work seamlessly with the larger teams because of previous training and after hands on experience in the 2015 Bobtail fire. NVSAR were able to implement the skills that they picked up from participation a couple of years ago in a process of developing evacuation procedures and pioneering a training day on managing rural evacuations. So our community is in good hands for sure.
Farm Credit Canada AfriSpirit Fund
The AgriSpirit Fund contributed $1.5 million to 78 rural community projects across Canada. Vanderhoof’s NVSAR mobile command centre truck was one of those projects and one of only five successful applicants in this round of funding.
The other successful BC applications were:70 Mile House Volunteer Fire Department received $25,000 towards drilling a high volume well for community fire protection.
Skeetchestn Indian Band received $18,000 towards the purchase and installation of livestock fencing for the rodeo grounds.
Blue River Volunteer Fire Department received $17,000 towards the purchase of wildfire and structure protection firefighting equipment.
Enderby Preschool Society received $10,000 towards the purchase of equipment for a new rural daycare.
The FCC AgriSpirit Fund awards between $5,000 and $25,000 for community improvement projects, such as hospitals and medical centres, fire and rescue equipment, playgrounds, food banks, libraries, arenas, swimming pools, recreation areas, and community centres.
Nationally, 1,214 applications were received this year which demonstrates how invested rural Canadians are in their communities. Over the past 14 years, the FCC AgriSpirit Fund has supported almost 1,100 projects, an investment of more than $12 million.
A complete national listing of selected projects can be found at www.fccagrispiritfund.ca.
The next application period opens in spring 2018. Registered charities and non-profit organizations interested in funding can visit www.fccagrispiritfund.ca for eligibility requirements and to apply online.