Saturday, April 30, 2016 


BC News

Answering the Call

Public safety volunteers recognized for efforts

BC Gov't Caucus/Handout photos


Public safety volunteers were recognized for their service last week at the Legislature.


nce a year, British Columbia recognizes Public Safety Lifeline Volunteer Award winners and their significant contributions to emergency and disaster response in this province.


During a ceremony Thursday at the Parliament Buildings, the outstanding achievements of six emergency volunteers were recognized. Public safety lifeline volunteers (PSLVs) 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.

“British Columbia’s public safety lifeline volunteers are essential to the well-being of our province’s citizens in emergency and disaster response. Volunteers working in emergency preparedness and management make many sacrifices and often aid British Columbians on the most challenging days of their lives. On behalf of 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 State for Emergency Preparedness, Naomi Yamamoto.


Six recipients were on hand to receive their awards:

Emergency Social Services:

Wayne Hartley, Vancouver Island region

Search and Rescue:

Bridget Ann Milsom, South West region

Radio Communications:

Alan Mallett, Vancouver Island region

Provincial Emergency Program (PEP) Air:

Brian Dunham, Vancouver Island region

Road Rescue:

Edward Jones, South East region

Lifetime Achievement:

George Merchant, South West region

Doug Fraser, Chilliwack Search and Rescue manager, told The Voice Thursday the Volunteer of the Year award is going to a devoted member in North Vancouver.


Bridget Milsom recognized in the Legislature for 20 years of service as a North Shore Rescue volunteer.

"This year's recipient for SAR Volunteer of the Year, Bridget Milsom, is truly deserving of the recognition. She's a member of North Shore Rescue and has been volunteering for well over 20 years," said Fraser.

There are more than 13,000 public safety lifeline volunteers in British Columbia who respond to an average of 6,000 incidents a year.

“As the Minister of Public Safety, I commend the individuals being honoured today for their volunteerism, courage and dedication to helping others in often dangerous and tragic situations. It’s with great passion and commitment that these people contribute to public safety in communities all across B.C. This is a vital service to those in the face of peril and these volunteers work tirelessly to bring people safely back home to their families,” said Minister of Public Safety, Mike Morris.

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.

Quick Facts:
• There are approximately 2,500 registered search and rescue volunteers throughout B.C. who respond to 1,400 incidents annually, more than any other province.
• Road rescue volunteers attend more than 2,000 motor vehicle accidents annually across 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 more than 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 coordinate crisis relief.

Learn More:
To learn more about Public Safety Lifeline Volunteers and their work in your community, visit here.



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