Nanaimo SAR inches closer to new home

By Ian Holmes
July 13, 2017 - 5:23pm Updated: July 13, 2017 - 8:27pm

The Nanaimo Search and Rescue family will hopefully expand with a new building, which they've currently entered into negotiations to own. Nanaimo Search and Rescue/Facebook

NANAIMO — Nanaimo Search and Rescue (NSAR) has taken a critical step forward in their bid to secure a badly needed new home.

City Council agreed Monday night to start lease negotiations for a property on Nanaimo Lakes Rd., which would serve as an upgraded new headquarters for the volunteer-run society.

NSAR president Carly Trobridge said they are severely restricted by a lack of space at their current shared Fourth St. facility.

“We'd like to purchase another boat and then we'd also like to purchase another all-terrain vehicle and our space now restricts us from doing that,” she said. “As well we're a little bit restricted on the number of members we take in because we don't have the training space.”

City Council is expected to vote on a formal lease deal for NSAR by September at the latest.

The organization has $1.2 million set aside to build a new and larger facility, $1 million of which was set aside by someone who Trobridge described as a “very generous donor.”

Being able to train new staff is more important than ever because Trobridge said NSAR is being utilized more and more. She said their backcountry search numbers are on par with past years, but now they're much more involved with assisting Nanaimo RCMP finding missing people in the city, most notably seniors.

“Typically we average about 25 calls or tasks per calendar year...already this year to date we're standing at 26,” she said.


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