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Revitalizing provincial search and rescue efforts: SAR Alberta receives $2M grant

The federal government has announced more than $2 million for the Search and Rescue Association of Alberta (SAR Alberta) to help the organization improve operations.

In total, SAR Alberta will receive $2,075,919 in funding from Public Safety Canada’s Search and Rescue New Initiatives Fund (SAR NIF).

"This funding will help to support SAR operations in Alberta as they build on their 30-year history and work to adapt to a new, ever-evolving environment," said Bill Blair, minister of emergency preparedness, during Monday's announcement at Banff's Cave and Basin National Historic Site.

"Like most search and rescue operations, SAR Alberta relies on volunteers to conduct their life-saving work, and this funding will help enhance safety standards and accreditation for all personnel," Blair said.

"Search and Rescue is an essential emergency service that requires expertise and collaboration from a complex network across jurisdictions, Indigenous communities, volunteers and the private sector."

The money will be used to support SAR Alberta's multi-year ‘Revitalization to Enhance All Hazards Response’ project.

"Our goal is to strengthen and enhance the ground search and rescue program to improve public safety for all Albertans, First Nations and neighbouring provinces and territories," said Lexie Busby, project leader.

"We are aware that the volume of disasters is growing, so we are creating a robust training program to increase the disaster response capabilities of our rescue responders."

SAR Alberta has been around for 30 years and is today comprised of 33 teams across six regions overseeing nearly 1,500 volunteers.

During the last two years, members have responded to more than 700 documented incidents and helped save 125 lives.

"As our member associations operate under the challenging circumstances of being entirely volunteer driven, and with individual incidents and large-scale disasters on the rise, this SAR NIF funding has come at an important time for our organization," said John Alexander, CEO of SAR Alberta. Top Stories

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