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Provincial Funding Announcement!

The entire Ground Search and Rescue community in British Columbia is delighted with the Province’s announcement of $18.6 million to fund the 80 recognized GSAR groups across BC. This will provide 3 years of stable funding to the 80 groups and begin to implement the BCSARA Alternative Support Model. This investment in search and rescue provides much needed predictable funding championed since 2013, and kick starts the proven and effective Alternative Support Model. This announcement compliments funding supports already in place from local government and other sources.

BCSARA and the 80 GSAR groups sincerely appreciate the support received from everyone over the last weeks. We especially want to thank the many elected officials across all levels of government in BC who voiced support for funding search and rescue, the many government officials who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to see this announcement happen, and to the general public for sharing our concerns on social media and reaching out to their elected officials voicing support. Thank you!

BCSARA will begin work immediately to implement a plan that will effectively allocate and distribute the funds quickly to the 80 GSAR groups, to the AdventureSmart SAR prevention and BCSARA Critical Incident Stress Management Programs. Work will also begin in setting the ground work for implementing the Alternative Support Model, including hiring support employees for BCSARA and the GSAR community. As the plan is built, messaging to the groups will come through your regional directors.

This is a momentous day for the ground search and rescue community in BC. On behalf of the 80 groups and their 2500 volunteers who respond to 1700 tasks annually, thank you!

For a copy of the media release please click the link: https://www.bcsara.com/2019/03/provincial-funding-announcement/

New AdventureSmart Trip Plan App Released

A brand new trip plan app has been released from @AdventureSmart and @SARVAC_ACVRS.

Ceate a trip plan and then leave it with a friend or family member to assist help if you run into trouble.

https://adventuresmart.ca/tripplanning/tripplan.htm

PRESS RELEASE

 Outdoor Trip Planning? There’s an App for That!

The Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada (SARVAC) launches signature AdventureSmart Trip Plan app to aid outdoor recreationalists to “Get informed and go outdoors”.

Canadians love the outdoors. According to Statistics Canada, nearly 7 in 10 Canadians participate in outdoor or wilderness activities every year, with hiking and backpacking being the most popular activity. While this love of the outdoors plays a critical role in the health and wellbeing of Canadians, it can also create some problems. Each year there are approximately 15,000 search and rescue incidents and national search and rescue program partners provide assistance to over 25,000 persons lost or in distress.

AdventureSmart is a national prevention program that helps Canadians and visitors to Canada effectively prepare for their outdoor excursions. The Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada, in partnership with Parks Canada, is pleased to announce the development of the new AdventureSmart Trip Plan App and it is now available as a free download for iPhones (on the Apple App Store) and Android (via the Google Play store). Developed with the knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience, the AdventureSmart Trip Plan App is a tremendous new aid for those heading outdoors, especially when it comes to the “Three T’s”:

  • Trip Planning - Let the AdventureSmart Trip Plan App walk you through a comprehensive trip plan, then easily share it with a responsible party, family or friends, with just a couple of clicks.
  • Training – Use the AdventureSmart Trip Plan App as a reference for outdoor survival tips, suggestions for appropriate clothing and additional information specific to your outdoor activity. 
  • Taking the Essentials – The AdventureSmart Trip Plan App offers a handy guide to help with the essentials of any equipment list, including those specific to your chosen activity, season and location.

The AdventureSmart Trip Plan App incorporates a six step process to ensure the emergency contact(s) you choose have the detailed information of your trip, which can be provided to the authorities in case of emergency. That process provides a wealth of critical information, including time of departure and expected return, location and purpose of a trip, as well as names and contact information for all participants. While the trip plan is not monitored (and it is up to you or your emergency contact(s) to notify the appropriate authorities should you become overdue or in distress), the AdventureSmart Trip Plan App helps give recreationalists and search and rescue professionals essential information to assist in the response for your safe return.

ABOUT ADVENTURESMART

AdventureSmart is a national program dedicated to encouraging Canadians and visitors to Canada to ‘'Get informed and go outdoors". AdventureSmart balances key safety messages with an individuals’ responsibility for safety and encouraging the public to obtain the knowledge, skills and equipment necessary for them to enjoy their outdoor pursuits. By being AdventureSmart, outdoor recreationalists make informed decisions, mitigate risk and ultimately reduce the number and severity of search and rescue (SAR) incidents. To learn more about AdventureSmart and to find more information on the AdventureSmart Trip Plan App, visit www.adventuresmart.ca.

ABOUT SARVAC

The Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada (SARVAC) is a registered not-for-profit and educational organization that supports, coordinates, develops, informs, promotes and implements search, rescue and emergency response with the underlying principle of saving lives. To learn more about SARVAC, visit www.sarvac.ca.

FUNDING

The development of this app was funded through a Search and Rescue New Initiatives Fund program. The SAR New Initiatives Fund (SAR NIF) was established by the Federal Government in 1988, and is managed by Public Safety Canada (PSC), in partnership with other Federal, Provincial and Territorial SAR organizations. SAR NIF provides funding for projects that will improve the National Search and Rescue Program and address National SAR Program Annual Priorities.

SPECIAL THANKS

SARVAC would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of the volunteers which continue to make the AdventureSmart program and the development of the AdventureSmart Trip Plan App, a huge success!

Cold Winter Weather Preparedness

As we head into a very cold week of weather, we'd like to remind everyone to have a survival kit and winter clothing in their vehicle. Icy road conditions, blowing snow and cold weather are a challenging mix; even a quick trip can end up being a long wait for a tow truck, a cold walk to get help or a long night in a vehicle. We'd also like to encourage everyone traveling in remote areas to leave a trip plan with someone in case you are delayed or get stuck. Stay safe and be prepared!

Preparing an Emergency Kit for Your Car (getprepared.gc.ca)