Golden and District Search and Rescue’s response capability is in question due to loss of building

  • Mar. 23, 2011 9:00 a.m.

Golden and District Search and Rescue (GADSAR)will be evicted from its current base of operations on April 30, 2011.Without a facility the lifesaving services provided by GADSAR; which include auto extrication on the Trans Canada Highway, may cease. GADSAR wants the Province of BC to fulfill the promise made to help rectify the situation.

The current facility owned by BC Hydro, which has been GADSAR’s home for the past 15 years, is now required for the Columbia Valley Transmission Project. Without a location to store equipment and vehicles, GADSAR will be unable to maintain the critical response time required to effectively respond to emergencies in the Golden area.  Without an administrative, training and meeting facility the volunteer organizations long-term sustainability is in question.

Since receiving notice over a year and a half ago regarding the loss of the building, GADSAR has worked hard with various stakeholders in hopes of resolving the situation.   To date GADSAR has secured $90,000 of funding towards purchasing a new facility and has the commitment of the Town of Golden to support the new facility. However, significant additional funding is still required. To date two levels of government, the Province of BC and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District have yet to address the situation.

At the Union of BC Municipalities meetings this past fall, a delegation from the Town of Golden met with representatives from the Province of British Columbia regarding this situation. The Town of Golden was assured that the Province would help to rectify the GADSAR situation. Since then little has happened among the various other stakeholders. GADSAR hopes the new minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General will commit to resolving this situation.

“This situation has diverted volunteer energy away from our true mission, saving lives” says Joel Jackson Acting President “our members our very concerned about our ability to continue to provide search and rescue and road rescue services to our community”

GADSAR is one of the busiest search and rescue organizations in the country and directly supports the major economies of the community of Golden. A loss in response capability will have a significant effect on the community of Golden and the safety of the public.