Nov. 5, 2008
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The province's ground search and rescue teams will be receiving new resources, training and equipment, thanks to new federal funding through the Search and Rescue New Initiatives Fund, which is managed by the National Search and Rescue Secretariat. John W. Foran, minister of public safety and solicitor general, made the announcement today.
"For 25 years the New Brunswick Ground Search and Rescue Association has been an important partner in building a safer province, and I support the continued development of the organization," Foran said. "This funding will allow us to provide volunteers with modern tools to carry out their work. These will include upgraded radio equipment, and the use of new technologies such as laptops and geographic information system."
The Department of Public Safety, in collaboration with the New Brunswick Ground Search and Rescue Association, was successful in obtaining funding for a three-year plan to build a more effective and efficient ground search and rescue service. The plan focuses on three priority areas: the development of consistent, provincewide policies and procedures when responding to search incidents; the purchase of new equipment to improve interoperability among response agencies; and training for volunteers.
"The Search and Rescue New Initiatives Fund is a vital component of our national search and rescue program," said Geraldine Underdown, executive director of the National Search and Rescue Secretariat. "It strengthens partnerships through the promotion of education and prevention, and in this case provides volunteer associations such as the New Brunswick Ground Search and Rescue Association with the tools to get the job done."
In-kind support valued at more than $178,000 will also be provided for the project by the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Natural Resources, and the RCMP.
"Through the collaboration and support of the Department of Public Safety and the National Search and Rescue Secretariat, New Brunswick's volunteer search and rescue teams will be in a much better position to serve our province's residents," said Curtis Baxter, president of the New Brunswick Ground Search and Rescue Association. "This is a prime example of government/volunteer co-operation to make the lives of New Brunwickers better."
Ground search and rescue teams staffed by volunteers are active in 11 regions throughout New Brunswick. The teams provide assistance to the RCMP and local police agencies during evidence searches, urban searches, and when locating people lost in wilderness locations.
The Department of Public Safety is committed to building a safer New Brunswick, and collaborates with a number of partners on initiatives that enhance safety. Some of these partners include community organizations and universities, as well as federal, interdepartmental and municipal agencies.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Lisa Harrity, Public Safety, 506-444-5267; Kim Fauteux, media relations, National Search and Rescue Secretariat, 613-992-3472.