Rob Crossley and Terry Thompson measure the stride length on a track during a tracking training course hosted by Nechako Valley Search and Rescue in the fields north of the hospital in Vanderhoof during the May long weekend.

NVSAR seeks grant to upgrade volunteer training and equipment

Nechako Valley Search and Rescue (NVSAR) have applied for a $98,000 gaming grant to provide volunteers with further training and more advanced equipment.

Nechako Valley Search and Rescue (NVSAR) have applied for a $98,000 gaming grant to provide volunteers with further training and more advanced equipment.

Non-profit organizations providing programs or services of direct benefit to the broader community are eligible to apply to the province for a community gaming grant.

Groups that fall under the public safety sector, such as search and rescue had to apply in the month of August.

Assisted by district grant writer Janice Baker, NVSAR sent off their 100-page application last week and expect to be notified if successful in November this year.

The application focused in on two different rescue programs –  water and ground rescue.

“In search and rescue the water rescue courses are not funded by the government at all,” said Chris Mushumanski, President of NVSAR.

“So for example we did flat ice rescue re-certification in February and then swift water re-certification in June – that was just around $10,000 in training  and our group had to find those funds in order to do those courses,” he said.

“It is signifcant to note that B.C. averages  half of the all the search and rescue call outs for the entire country – so when you start looking at it from that perspective – one province being 50 per cent of all the activity, that starts to impress upon people how active people are in our province for the outdoors.

 

“And so there’s a real need to have highly trained and well equipped search and rescue volunteers to go out there and assist the RCMP and the different agencies that call us out to provide that public assistance,” he said.

 

If successful with the gaming grant application, a chunk of the money will go towards other water courses that the swift water rescue team needs to take in order to have the adequate skills for the variety of search and rescue scenarios that they could be faced with.

“There’s also a number of pieces of gear that they need in order to help facilitate rescues as well as some suits for members to be able to stay dry and warm regardless of summer, winter, fall or spring,” said Mushumanski.

While some of the ground rescue training is government funded, there are still a number of course where the funding is not readily available. More advanced gear and equipment are also required for ground rescue crews.

“We’re looking at trying to get a little more gear for our members to be able to be more effective on some of the ground searching,” said  Mushumanski.

“So right now our search managers don’t have any computer technology available to them in the field and we’re lookng to get some laptops and the software that would help them with running a search out in the field,” he said.

Nechako Valley Search and Rescue rely on grants and donations for the majority of their funding. The government reimburses their individual and group expenses for a call-out such as milage, meals, use of equipment etc. A search and rescue organization would then receive 15 per cent back from the total reimbursements of a single search.

“But that money is supposed to be used for things such as replacing equipment, paying for administrative costs … as well as any other expense that the group has,” said Mushumanski.

“It’s not a real revenue generator – especially considering we get an average number of 10 -12 call-outs per year,” he said.

He added that this is about the fifth time that NVSAR have applied for a gaming grant. Last year they applied for over $80,000 and received a grant of around $5,000.

“It was a real challenge to try and stretch that money to do the things we needed,” said Mushumanski.

He added that NVSAR and rescue has just added 11 new volunteers into its group, nine from Vanderhoof and two from Burns Lake.

Mushumanski attributes a spur of interest in NVSAR to be a result of the Madison Scott search.

 

“As a result of the Madison Scott search we had some increased interest in search and rescue and we were very happy to see more volunteers coming out,” he said.

 

 

Just Posted

Elderly woman struck and killed by train in Vanderhoof

At approximately 4:30 pm June 21, 2018, an elderly woman was struck… Continue reading

District of Vanderhoof contracts YMCA for aquatic centre

Announcement brings mixed reaction from community

Community and collaboration drive Binche Fishing Derby

Family time, forward thinking and positive initiatives to be highlighted

Nechako Valley Exhibition holding regional talent competition

Solo vocalists and instrumentalists wanted

Audit finds Canfor did not comply with bridge maintenance legislation

Per a news release issued by the Forest Practices board, an independent… Continue reading

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

B.C. man wins job he was denied after saying he had depression

Transport Canada has been order to give Chris Hughes a high-level job and nearly $500,000

B.C. soldier shot down a century ago to be honoured

Norman Stuart Harper, of Kamloops, was killed on a bombing mission over Lahr, Germany, in 1918

Trump sends letter to Trudeau calling for increase in NATO defence spending

The letter comes as tensions between Canada and the United States have risen to a dramatic high

Most Read