Today, MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard spoke about Ground Search and Rescue in the House. You can watch the video here or read the transcript below.
This spring I had the pleasure of meeting with Paul Berry and Bronwen Beedle, two well-respected leaders with Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue.
They invited me and legislative intern Gagan Lidhran, who has a particular interest herself, to tour their impressive base of operations. As the weather gets warmer and more people head out to the back country, we recognize the hard work, dedication and skill that the Comox Valley ground search and rescue team puts into making sure people in our community are safe.
Like all 80 ground search and rescue teams across B.C., the Comox Valley SAR team is on call 24-7, 365 days a year to respond to calls. They hone their skills in weekly trainings and are involved in outdoor education programs. In 2017, 60-plus Comox Valley SAR volunteers contributed over 12,000 hours to search and rescue operations, educational programs and community events.
At the time we met, they had just aided in rescuing a stranded photographer from the Courtenay estuary when the tide rose and he was stranded, perched on a log in the water. Next thing you know, members attended in the rescue of an injured mountain biker on Forbidden Plateau. Their equipment and expertise were critical in bringing the biker down through the rugged terrain.
These are some of the many stories that make up the community of Comox Valley ground search and rescue. They impressed upon us that people need to reach out and not fear that they can’t afford to be rescued. To support ground SAR’s best efforts everywhere, more provincial resources on top of the base funding, $16.9 million to be exact, have been dedicated over the next three years. So when recreating in the Comox Valley, be prepared, have fun and know that the brave men and women of our ground search and rescue have your back if trouble hits.