Sponsors: Peace River Regional District
NCLGA Executive Recommendation: Endorse | Endorsed by the NCLGA Membership
Whereas Search and Rescue volunteers are key partners of the RCMP, BC Ambulance, Emergency Management BC, Fire Departments, and local governments during emergencies;
And whereas Search and Rescue organizations are spending an increasing percentage of their time fundraising to cover training and equipment costs to comply with training requirements and record keeping responsibilities they must meet under Emergency Management BC;
And whereas in February 2018, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General approved in principle the development of a government administered framework model that provides for equitable allocation of a secure funding stream for BC Search and Rescue:
Therefore be it resolved that NCLGA and UBCM request that the framework for a government administered fund for BC Search and Rescue be finalized by the Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General to provide secure funding and equitable allocation of funding to BC Search and Rescue so that they can continue to thrive and provide vital support in times of emergency using trained, skilled volunteers to protect the safety of the public.
The Resolutions Committee notes that the UBCM membership has endorsed multiple resolutions seeking consistent, adequate and predictable funding for search and rescue services (2018-B6, 2015-B2, 2013-B5, 2009-B11, 2009-B69, 2008-B10, 2006-B17). Endorsed resolution 2018-B6 called on the provincial government to implement a consistent and sustainable funding model to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of search and rescue operations.
Over the past three years, the Province has provided $15 million in grants to the BC Search and Rescue Association in support of search and rescue teams. With funding set to expire on March 31, 2019, the provincial government recently announced that it was providing $18.6 million to ground search and rescue groups throughout BC to be used over the next three years. A long term funding model/arrangement has not been developed.