With the work of the province's Search and Rescue teams in the spotlight over the last week, North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, who is also Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness, provided a short salute to their efforts in the Legislature on Wednesday.
Speaking during the Statements portion of the Wednesday session, Ms. Rice observed of the ongoing work in the south, as well as to make note of the recent addition in resources for the Prince Rupert Ground Search and Rescue group.
When someone in British Columbia goes missing, they can rest assured that people are out looking for them. In North Coast, Prince Rupert Ground Search and Rescue is one of the many SAR groups responding to the call.
These courageous individuals volunteer their time and effort to locate missing persons. Prince Rupert GSAR recently purchased a new mobile command centre to allow the search crew to respond more quickly and efficiently to calls.
It features a cell signal and ham radio booster antenna, as well as signal booster repeaters, which allows SAR teams to communicate across greater distances. Inside, they have a complete operational centre with space for the operations, planning and logistic departments and the search manager.
It's self-sufficient for at least three days with food, water, backup generator and a battery bank.
With recent extreme weather events, we know more than ever the importance of search and rescue work.
In the Fraser Valley, Vancouver's Urban Search and Rescue team was deployed to help rescue over 270 people trapped between two mudslides. In Chilliwack, search and rescue helped save several people Sunday night after their home on Wilson Road was badly damaged by flooding. And numerous GSAR groups are engaged across the province as we deal with this emergency.
These British Columbians give their time and expertise without hesitation, often on a moment's notice. Risking themselves in some of the most dangerous situations, in a rugged environment, making sure someone in trouble stays alive.
B.C.'s ground search and rescue volunteers battle the worst weather conditions and navigate the most dangerous terrain to find and rescue the lost and injured.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the 80 search and rescue groups and approximately 2,500 GSAR volunteers we have in this province. Your work is invaluable to all British Columbians.
I also want to give a shout-out to my local Prince Rupert Ground Search and Rescue who have recently been deployed on a multi-day mission and put their new command centre to the test.
Thank you for your service.