Terrace Search and Rescue practicing some drills last summer on the Skeena River. Half of all its callouts are water-based.

Terrace Search and Rescue to receive additional money

The group will put the provincial funds towards a new place to store equipment

The president of Terrace Search and Rescue says the group is closer to getting a much-needed new home after being promised $77,923 from the provincial government.

Search and rescue president Dwayne Sheppard expects his group will get the money as a lump sum this year and will receive a similar payment in 2017.

“Some of the money will be put towards our plan to have a new building,” Sheppard said. “As much as $15,000 to $20,000.”

In January, the B.C government announced it would be distributing $10 million amongst the province’s 80 search and rescue groups.

Sheppard said the formula for how much each search and rescue group around the province would be getting was determined by the group’s number of team members, trained rescue disciplines and callout volume.

He said his group found out in April exactly how much the Terrace detachment would receive.

The individual search and rescue groups around the province get to determine the best use of the money for their detachments.

“Our biggest challenge these days is the need for a new home,” Sheppard said. “We have currently outgrown our rented bay at 4524 Greig Ave.”

Sheppard said due to the inadequate amount of space in the group’s current home it has to store its command vehicle outside and in the elements.

During the winter months, the group makes room for the command vehicle inside but then has to find a place elsewhere to store the boat.

“We have recently established a building committee to develop a plan to get us into a new home in three to five years,” Sheppard said.

Terrace Search and Rescue has 53 active team members.

Sheppard said the government’s cash injection will also allow the group to purchase new rope gear, uniforms and, perhaps most importantly, water rescue gear.

“Approximately 50 per cent of our call volume is water based, so we have specialized to meet this demand,” Sheppard said.

He added that the group’s busiest year was 2014. That year the group responded to 33 callouts to rescue lost, injured or distressed individuals.