Houston Search and Rescue (SAR) is ordering a new $144,000 primary response vehicle.
The club landed $89,000 in grants from the Province of B.C., with $64,500 announced last Tuesday and $24,500 redirected from 2013.
They also received over $51,000 from businesses and community organizations to cover most of the cost.
SAR Director Andy Muma says he is blown away by the community support.
With the recent closure of Houston Forest Products, they weren’t sure about asking for community donations.
But they were shocked at the large donations made by the community, Muma said.
“We just got blown away by the donations. It was incredible.”
Funders include TransCanada, Chris Markoff Foundation, Bulkley Valley Credit Union, Lakes District Maintenance, Dungate Community Forests, Canfor, Monster Industries, Finning, Vanderhoof & District Co-op, Huckleberry Mine, Houston Peterbilt, Andy Meints Contracting, Mt. Davis Logging, and Wilson Bros. Enterprises.
The local funding helped secure the Public Safety Community Gaming Grants from the Province.
SAR President Frank McDonald says up until now SAR volunteers have been using personal vehicles and equipment in searches and storing their resources in a District of Houston shed.
The new vehicle, custom-designed for the north, uniquely combines a command vehicle, patient transport and equipment storage into one.
“It’s the first vehicle of this style in the province,” said Muma.
It “will help us respond to emergencies and searches without delay and without concerns that we are missing critical equipment.”
Muma says they can now be up and running within four minutes of a call.
“It’s turn key. You get a call, turn the key and go,” he said.
Houston SAR is still accepting donations. If interested contact Andy at 250-877-3622 or Frank at 250-845-7030.