Golden Search and Rescue searches for new home

  • Mar. 29, 2011 6:00 a.m.

The busy Golden and District Search and Rescue (GADSAR) are looking for a new home. In a press release from GADSAR on March 22 it was brought to the attention of the public that April 30th will be the day BC Hydro takes back their building as it is now required for the Columbia Valley Transmission Project. So, the hunt is on for GADSAR.

“It is too bad that we are losing the building, it has been a great place for the last 15 years, but we did know that one day it could happen and have known for the past year and a half,” said Acting President for GADSAR, Joel Jackson.

GADSAR is one of the busiest organizations of its kind in Canada. The group typically makes 60-70 calls each year; other similar organizations in Canada make roughly 30-40 calls per year.

“We are a very busy group in comparison to others in the country. The road rescue is what makes us super busy,” explained Jackson.

The problem of uprooting the organization is not due literally to the actual move, but it is now an issue of money. To date GADSAR has raised $90,000 to be used towards purchasing a new building. However, the problem is that $90,000 does not go far when considering the purchase of a new facility.

“From our research of possible places to relocate to, it looks like we will need an additional $100,000 in order to purchase a suitable location. Saying that, we could use $270,000 so that we could set the place up to exactly what we need,” added Jackson.

“The purchasing of a new building is something that has to be dealt with very quickly. It (GADSAR) is a service that people have come to depend on. GADSAR needs a facility to be able to continue on with the important work they do for the community,” said MLA Norm Macdonald.

So, now it is in the hands of the Provincial Government, a sector that has been difficult for GADSAR to get any information from.

“We feel that this is a provincial obligation. We have been attempting to contact them, but we have yet to receive any formal responses,” said Jackson.

“As time is a certain factor, I will be pushing this issue forward immediately. I am looking to schedule a meeting with Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Shirley Bond, in order to get things moving quickly,” commented MLA Macdonald.

In the mean time, HMC has offered a bay for GADSAR in order to allow the organization a place to keep a vehicle for their Road Rescue services. This is fantastic for the group, but a large building is still mandatory in order to store nearly $600,000 worth of gear collectively.

“We have a lot of gear, and without a proper building to store it all, we would need to start keeping the gear at different volunteer’s homes. This would absolutely result in slower or lack of response,” explained Jackson.

It seems that the best possible location available for GADSAR is the old Canyon Jet building at the airport. The building is the appropriate size and the location would allow for easy access for helicopter rescues as well as a boat launch for river rescues. The only possible concern for the location would be the railroad tracks that separate the building from town.

“I’ve been in discussion with them (GADSAR) about the facilities that they are presently looking at and believe that they have come up with a realistic approach to ‘doing business’. They are very much a community asset that needs to be supported; in addition to providing auto extrication services on the Province’s highway system for our visitors and those that are passing through, their rescue response capabilities are crucial to the tourism and recreational industry in Golden,” said CSRD Director, Ron Oszust.

“We feel that the location at the airport would be a good base of operations for us. It is affordable as well as it would allow us for quick responses, with regards to air and water rescues. The only concern would be the tracks, but we have a pretty good relationship with CP; they have delayed trains for us, in the past, or at least let us know if there are any trains coming,” said Jackson.

“It looks like the airport location may be one of the only solutions for GADSAR. Hopefully the government can find some money so that this problem can be rectified as soon as possible,” concluded MLA Macdonald.

If anyone in the community have any suggestions or ideas on where GADSAR could potentially go, contact Joel Jackson at: 250-272-1352 or via email at: joelhaywardjackson@yahoo.ca. To contact MLA Norm Macdonald email him at: norm.macdonald.mla@leg.bc.ca.