For the roughly 20 search and rescue team members in Bulkley Valley, B.C., emergencies can mean helping those in distress on the river, locating missing or injured people, rescuing people involved in avalanches and more. Sometimes the difference between life and death in these situations means having the necessary equipment to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
TransCanada announced Tuesday that its Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project and Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project contributed $15,000 towards the Bulkley Valley Search and Rescue Society (BV SAR), helping to provide much needed equipment to keep their volunteers safe while providing a more efficient search and rescue service.
“There’s a real need to be better prepared for emergencies,” says Steve Jennings, vice president of BV SAR. “The support from TransCanada will enhance our local water rescue team’s rapid response capacity through the purchase of a new jet motor for our boat.”
“It will also improve public awareness about water safety and conditions through public signage, and equip our search and rescue members with more protective apparel so that they can safely work in extreme weather conditions,” he adds. “We truly appreciate the support from TransCanada for this important program.”
The BV SAR focuses on swift water rescue, rope rescues and ground search and rescue, all of which require a multitude of important safety measures. BV SAR is one of 79 search and rescue groups in B.C.; across the province, 2,500 British Columbians are members of search and rescue teams that respond to over 1,300 calls a year.
“Bulkley Valley Search and Rescue is just the kind of organization that we’re pleased to partner with,” says Rick Gateman, president of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project. “We know the funding will make a real difference to the efforts of this volunteer group and that the work they do for the community is critical,” says Gateman.
“The volunteers serving the Bulkley Valley Search and Rescue Society have made the Smithers area safer for those who use waterways in the Bulkley Valley,” says Dean Patry, president of the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project. “With our support, they will be able to help users through an improved awareness program and provide a more efficient search and rescue service.”
Over the past five years, TransCanada has invested more than $1.5 million in community partnerships in B.C. like this one. “Since safety initiatives are a key pillar of TransCanada’s community investment program, it was a good fit for us,” said Gateman.
TransCanada has a history of supporting communities where it operates. In 2014, TransCanada directed more than $14.6 million to nearly 1,500 non-profit organizations across North America, including school breakfast programs and the Canada Winter Games in B.C.
Learn more about TransCanada’s commitment to communities in the 2014 CSR Report.