Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

April 15, 2012 11:00 ET

Harper Government Announces Funding for Search and Rescue Prevention and Response

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - April 15, 2012) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Lead Minister for Search and Rescue, is pleased to announce an $8.1M federal investment in search and rescue prevention and response in Canada.

"Our government understands the importance of investing in new initiatives aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of search and rescue in Canada," said Minister MacKay. "This money will support projects that build search and rescue capacity and strengthens the response of search and rescue."

In 2012-2013, this new funding will allow for the purchase of life-saving equipment and tools; the development of training standards; collaborative interoperability exercises between the Canadian Forces, the Canadian Coast Guard, Parks Canada, and the over 15,000 specially trained air-ground-marine search and rescue volunteers; the development of outreach prevention and awareness programs to targeted audiences like flight safety for private pilots; the building of search and rescue capacity in the marine environment on the coasts; and the development of virtual trainers for the air and marine search and rescue environments.

"Projects funded under the Search and Rescue New Initiatives Fund support the priorities of the National Search and Rescue Program" said Ms. Géraldine Underdown, Executive Director of the National Search and Rescue Secretariat. "They contribute to building capacity for the National Search and Rescue Program in such areas as search and rescue prevention, response, technology, sustainability, interoperability and the North."

Established in 1986, the National Search and Rescue Secretariat (NSS) is responsible for the management and coordination of the National Search and Rescue Program, and works with all levels of government, police and emergency services to manage and improve search and rescue activities throughout Canada. The NSS is an autonomous arm's length organization within the Department of National Defence, accountable to the Lead Minister for Search and Rescue, who is also Minister of National Defence.

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