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Prince George Search and Rescue gets share of funding

Money from B.C. government covers half of group's yearly operating costs
Search and rescue

Members of Prince George Search and Rescue are a bunch of happy campers after recently securing enough funding to cover about half the group's operating expenses for the year.

PGSAR manager Dave Merritt did not have an exact figure but said the group received about $100,000.

The money comes from just under $6 million the B.C. government has committed to the B.C. Search and Rescue Association.  Of that, nearly $5 million was disbursed to ground search and rescue groups across the province.

"This is our first year to receive sustainable provincial funding and we thank the Province for its support.  This funding is a unique agreement in Canada and a first for B.C.," BCSAR said in a statement.

Although welcome, the money does not take PGSAR completely out of the need to fund raise.

"We can't take our foot off the gas," Merritt said.

He said the money will go towards maintaining and updating equipment and for training. PGSAR would also like to get a new building in place sometime in the next five to 10 years.

As for calls, Merritt said the pace has been about on par with past years and the number of volunteers has remained stable enough that the next intake won't happen until January 2023 at the earliest.

"We like to keep our team around 60-65 members and we haven't had a high turnover rate," Merritt said. "Any more than that and we find it hard for the team to try and manage it."

Donations are welcome and can be made through the PGSAR website: pgsar.ca.