The province has awarded the Quesnel Search and Rescue a $25,000 grant.
Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Bill Bennett was on hand at the facility Tuesday to make the announcement.
“Quesnel Search and Rescue provides the critical service of finding and assisting British Columbians in crisis,” he said.
“With this grant, the B.C. government is proud to support the work of this organization that is dedicated to the safety and well-being of British Columbians in their community.”
The grant was provided through community gaming grants.
“We are grateful to receive this gaming grant,” president of the Quesnel Search and Rescue Robert Zimmerman said.
The grant will help Quesnel’s Search and Rescue, which is run by volunteers, to attend more training as well as help with purchasing equipment.
Zimmerman pointed out the facility doesn’t currently have all equipment necessary to run efficiently, including a boat.
With half of its search and rescues being in rivers, the facility has been relying on volunteers renting their own boats to the organization for use.
Mayor Mary Sjostrom says she is excited to have extra help for this important program.
“It’s a top priority to ensure the protection and safety of our citizens,” she said.
“This community gaming grant will help the continuation of Quesnel’s emergency services and support the work of the dedicated individuals who volunteer their time to this agency to asset British Columbians and their loved ones in times when they need it most.”
Bennett was impressed with the facility despite its reliance on volunteers.
“I’m impressed with the facilities that you have,” Bennett said.
“I’m impressed especially with the community spirit here.”
Bennett toured the Search and Rescue facility as part of his announcement, as well as other projects in the area, including the West Quesnel Land Stability project.
“Mayor Mary Sjostrom and the city have a great attitude toward that project,” Bennett said.
“They know what needs to be done and they’re doing it.”
He was particularly impressed with the complexity of the project.
“I think the citizens of Quesnel should be very proud of what’s happening there,” he said.
“It’s without a doubt one of the most interesting, innovating projects I’ve ever seen anywhere.
“It’s a fascinating challenge.”
Bennett also visited Quesnel’s drinking water supply, as well as the College of New Caledonia to tour the college’s trades program.
“I saw Well #10,” Bennett explained.
“You’re getting to drink water from 200 feet down that’s beautiful, clear, clean water and it doesn’t have to have chlorine put in it.
“That’s a bigger deal than you might think.”
The Quesnel Search and Rescue is part of 5,300 community groups receiving gaming grants in 2011-12.
For more information on grant criteria and eligibility, visit http://www.gov.bc.ca/cscd.