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Volunteers with the North Peace Search and Rescue group are breathing a collective sigh of relief after hearing some good news this week.

The Province announced on Monday it will be adding $180,000 for liability coverage to protect the volunteers’ societies throughout British Columbia.

President of the local Search and Rescue group, Rolf Dostal, says this request has been a long time coming.

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The issue came to light when a lawsuit was filed to a Search and Rescue group in Golden, B.C. The group withdrew its services after a lawsuit was filed by a Quebec man whose wife froze to death, after they went out-of-bounds skiing at a nearby resort.

Since then, other Search and Rescue groups questioned the amount of coverage available if a similar incident occurred.

Dostal says the North Peace Search and Rescue Group is a well used service. He says just this past week, volunteers responded to five calls for service, ranging from the Sikanni River near Fort Nelson to the Pine River, near Taylor.

It’s been getting harder, Dostal says, because the local branch has been losing volunteers, quite possibly because they are afraid of being sued.

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Dostal says the 30 volunteers can now be safe knowing that they are covered with sufficient liability insurance. He says the insurance will probably be an added incentive to recruit more members.

In September, the group will be looking for members to join the organization. If you are interested, and are in good physical health, call Rolf Dostal at 250-785-2004.

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