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UBCM to debate search-and-rescue squad funding

This week, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities is looking for full funding for search-and-rescue operations to come from provincial government.

Tim Jones of North Shore Rescue said on Unfiltered with Jill Krop tonight some of the issues he would like to see discussed are not on the table.

“We need a provincial search-and-rescue communication system,” said Jones. “The system we have right now is not adequate for search-and-rescue in the province. It is not funded across the province. There are holes all over the place.”

Jones says in his experience, communication is always at the core of any emergency response.

“We have a communication system for North Shore Rescue that we’ve spent 10 years building, a million-dollar system… you go into the Squamish area, there is nothing.”

Jones says the new communication system would cost anywhere between 10 and 20 million dollars.

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Last month, North Shore Rescue said it was revising its funding model to include paid standby for a rotating group of highly trained volunteers, including helicopter rescue technicians and specially trained pilots.

The organization was suggesting a hybrid approach that combines the volunteer search-and-rescue teams and paid standby.