Each year, the Province recognizes Public Safety Lifeline Volunteer Award winners and their significant contributions to emergency and disaster response throughout British Columbia.
During a ceremony at the Parliament Buildings in Victoria today, Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto recognized the outstanding achievements of dedicated emergency volunteers identified as essential to the success of their community organizations.
These award winners are a select few among thousands of Public Safety Lifeline Volunteers who conduct air and ground searches, help the victims of serious car accidents, set up networks of volunteer teams, and co-ordinate services for victims of natural disasters.
The following recipients were on hand to receive their awards:
- Emergency Social Services – Deborah Reid (Vancouver Island Region, Victoria)
- Search and Rescue – Brad Sills (South West Region, Whistler)
- Radio Communications – Bernie Leaker (South West Region, North Vancouver)
- PEP Air – Al & Kathy Kasatkin (South West Region, Abbotsford)
- Road Rescue – Fernie Road Rescue (South East Region, Fernie)
- Lifetime Achievement – Ron Essex (Central Region, Salmon Arm)
There are over 13,000 Public Safety Lifeline Volunteers in British Columbia who respond to an average of 6,000 incidents a year.
Public Safety Lifeline Volunteers demonstrate a selfless commitment to the safety of B.C. families and communities with a tireless dedication and passion for helping others during emergencies.
Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto –
“I have been fortunate in my role as Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness to have the opportunity to meet countless dedicated volunteers who provide their time, talent and efforts to help perfect strangers through what are often the most challenging days of their lives. On behalf of Emergency Management BC and the Province, I would like to extend a special thank you to all volunteers – and the families that support them – for placing the needs of others before your own.”
Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Morris –
“As a former police officer, I’ve seen countless volunteer rescuers in action over the years, and I can’t overstate the value of their work in what are often dangerous and very challenging situations. Their expertise and dedication don’t always receive the degree of attention that police, fire, paramedics and other front-line personnel do, so these annual awards really are important as a way of highlighting their work and offering our sincere thanks.”
- There are approximately 2,500 registered search-and-rescue volunteers throughout B.C. who respond to 1,400 incidents annually. In 95% of cases, subjects are found or rescued within the first 24 hours.
- Road Rescue volunteers attend more than 2,000 motor vehicle accidents annually throughout the province. Under the road rescue organization, teams provide vehicle extrication, rope rescue and other specialized rescue services to help protect B.C.’s travelling public.
- PEP Air's primary function is to assist Canadian Forces during search-and-rescue missions when additional resources are required. Currently, the organization includes over 100 aircraft crewed by more than 900 pilots, spotters and navigators.
- Emergency Social Services provides short-term assistance to British Columbians who are forced to leave their homes because of fire, floods or other emergencies. This assistance includes food, lodging, clothing, emotional support and family reunification.
- Emergency Radio Communications respond when all other systems of communications fail. A proven and reliable means of communications, emergency or “ham” radio is a public-safety lifeline that helps co-ordinate crisis relief.
To learn more about Public Safety Lifeline Volunteers and their work in your community, visit: http://ow.ly/4mKqFW