A Port Alberni RCMP member hoists a woman to safety after a Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue swift water team member brings her to shore on the Sproat River west of Port Alberni in September 2018. Search and rescue squads were among 145 public safety organizations receiving gaming grants to operate in 2019. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Public safety services in Port Alberni, Bamfield receive funding

Community Gaming Grants will help ground and marine rescue organizations in 2019

Four central Vancouver Island not-for-profit organizations will share $87,500 in provincial funding for 2019.

The organizations in Port Alberni, Bamfield, and Bowser all provide public safety services which are receiving funds through the Community Gaming Grants program.

“Through these organizations, local people generously give their time ensuring the safety of their fellow citizens,” said Scott Fraser, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim. “I’m proud that they’re getting the support they deserve through Community Gaming Grants.”

The recipients of the community grant funding are the Bamfield Volunteer Fire Department ($15,000), the Lighthouse Country Marine Rescue Society Unit 59 ($12,750)), the Alberni Valley Rescue Squad ($40,000), and the Port Alberni Marine Rescue Society ($20,000).

Across the province, more than 145 public safety-related organizations are receiving more than $6.5 million this year. Through public safety programs, these groups provide emergency and lifesaving services including search and rescue activities, volunteer fire departments, emergency preparedness, community and restorative justice, and more.

“These programs have a powerful impact on people in our province, saving lives and protecting our precious natural environment,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Our government supports organizations doing this vital work, including increasing the reach of search and rescue operations throughout British Columbia, and increasing environmental awareness and efforts to keep our shorelines and waterways clean.”

“Community Gaming Grants for local search and rescue groups contribute to the safety of outdoor activity around the province,” said Chris Kelly, president, BC Search and Rescue Association.

“This important funding goes toward the training of volunteer professionals and the purchase of gear and equipment, along with ongoing operational expenses. Community Gaming Grants assist B.C.’s 80 search and rescue groups to respond to over 1,600 incidents involving missing or injured persons, at no cost to citizens.”

The Community Gaming Grants program provides up to $140 million to about 5,000 not-for-profit organizations in British Columbia each year.

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