Should B.C. search-and-rescue crews be paid?

When the Lin family was brought to safety by North Shore Rescue on Monday, they promised to make a donation to the volunteer organization. – FEATURED PHOTO: TMTV.NET

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But donations aren’t enough to support B.C.’s 80 search-and-rescue groups. Neither is government funding — $9 million this year along with a $10-million one-time grant.

Following another busy year for search-and-rescue crews, there are renewed calls to move from a volunteer model to one where crew members are paid.

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“We’re pretty busy right now,” Mike Danks of North Shore Rescue said. “There are a lot of other teams that are busy as well. The volunteer model moving forward, it becomes really challenging when you do have a lot of calls.

“It has a big impact on our members, not so much the guys who are out in the field…It’s your families, the people at home, the people that depend on you having an income. If we are going to have an ever-increasing call volume then I think something needs to change.”

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