VICTORIA - Today at the B.C. Parliament Buildings, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General recognized the outstanding achievements of emergency volunteers who are part of the Public Safety Lifeline Volunteers (PSLV).
Each year, volunteers are recognized for their outstanding contributions in the following six categories: Search and Rescue, Emergency Social Services, PEP Air, Road Rescue, Emergency Communications and Lifetime Achievement.
More than 13,000 PSL volunteers support disaster response in British Columbia. They come from every corner of the province and from all walks of life. They respond to an average of 6,000 incidents a year. They contribute their time, community spirit, dedication and commitment to saving lives and public safety.
The 2012 winners are:
Search and Rescue - Walter Bucher (Smithers)
Road Rescue - Reg Gustafson (Nakusp)
PEP Air - Dan and Louise Shynuk (Cranbrook)
Emergency Social Services - Lyn Arikado (Kamloops)
Emergency Radio Communications - Jim Forsyth (Pitt Meadows)
Lifetime Achievement - Joe Mandur (Terrace)
Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond -
"More than 13,000 volunteers across the province commit countless hours to provide support and expertise during emergency situations. The special volunteers we are recognizing today are dedicated and passionate about what they do. I want to express sincere gratitude on behalf of all British Columbians."
- PSLV volunteers lead air and ground searches, e.g., helping the victims of serious car accidents, setting up networks of volunteer teams and co-ordinating services for victims of natural disasters.
- British Columbia's diverse and rugged geography and numerous outdoor recreational opportunities have led to more recorded search and rescue incidents than in other parts of the country.
- Approximately 4,700 registered search and rescue volunteers throughout the province are organized into teams. They respond to over 1,000 searches provincewide annually.
- In any given year, search and rescue groups in B.C. respond to nearly 1,000 incidents involving over 1,300 missing (lost) or injured persons.
- 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 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 assists within the community and links the community in crisis to where relief and support can be co-ordinated.
- Emergency Social Services provides short-term assistance to British Columbians who are forced to leave their homes because of fire, floods, earthquakes or other emergencies. This assistance includes food, lodging, clothing, emotional support and family reunification.
- Road Rescue volunteers attend over 2,000 motor vehicle accidents annually throughout the province. Road rescue teams provide vehicle extrication, rope rescue and other specialized rescue services to help protect BC's travelling public.
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Justice