Nanaimo Search and Rescue volunteers say their operational costs should be a government budget item instead of SAR workers being forced to raise rescue funds themselves and pay for their own supplies.
An accusation from North Shore Rescue's spokesman that the B.C. SAR model is not sustainable recently brought the issue to public attention.
The BC Search and Rescue Association responded Wednesday, saying members have already developed an alternative funding model that will be presented to the provincial government "shortly."
Rob Christopher, president of the Nanaimo Search and Rescue Society, said he and other SAR volunteers spend countless hours fundraising and filling out grant applications to raise operational costs - which are between $25,000 and $30,000 annually.
"We spend enough time away from our families," said Christopher.
"To me that should be a budget item."
Nanaimo SAR search manager Kevin McNeill said he feels the province can afford to do at more, even if just a small amount.
"For every search and rescue group it's a struggle." McNeill said.
Ian Cunnings of Emergency Management BC has said he is open to hearing suggestions and ideas from SAR teams that are "within the current funding structure."
Cunnings also said SAR volunteers can "request targeted funding through a simple application process." But Christopher said the process isn't simple at all, calling it "very difficult and time consuming and arduous."
According to government statistics, there are 2500 active SAR members in B.C. that respond to 1200 calls per year.
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