Department of Justice secures £200,000 for voluntary search and rescue groups

The Community Rescue Service is one of the groups to receive funding

The Department of Justice has announced a £200,000 capital funding package for voluntary Search and Rescue groups in Northern Ireland.

The nine independent search and rescue groups deliver assistance to the emergency services and directly to the community. They provide lifesaving search and rescue on inland waterways, mountains and caves. They also provide a specialist search dog facility and support civil aviation with a sky watch service.

Department of Justice Permanent Secretary Peter May said: “This vital funding will immediately benefit the voluntary search and rescue teams and their dedicated highly trained volunteers, to answer calls from people in distress.

“I fully appreciate the contribution made by the groups, and am delighted to be able to provide additional financial support to assist them in carrying out their vital work.

Peter May also acknowledged the generosity of the public in providing support to the search and rescue sector: “Throughout Northern Ireland the public generously support search and rescue groups, allowing them to fund essential training and equipment. Without such donations and support these groups would not be as well equipped to assist those who need it most.”

This capital funding is in addition to revenue funding provided by the Department of Justice on an annual basis. £86,000 was allocated earlier this year.

The Department of Justice co-ordinates the Northern Ireland Search and Rescue Practitioners’ Group which brings together the nine independent voluntary search and rescue groups, local RNLI and Coastguard teams, and members of their statutory partners.

This provides a forum for groups to come together to share experiences and best practice.

Further information can be found on the Northern Ireland Search and Rescue webpage at: www.justice-ni.gov.uk/articles/northern-ireland-search-and-rescue

The table below details the revenue and capital funding allocated to each of nine voluntary search and rescue groups.

Organisation: Mourne Mountain Rescue Team

Revenue Amount Approved – £18,500
Capital Amount Approved – £23,260

Organisation: Community Rescue Service

Revenue Amount Approved – NIL
Capital Amount Approved – £32,000

Organisation: Irish Cave Rescue Organisation

Revenue Amount Approved – £11,000
Capital Amount Approved – £26,000

Organisation: Foyle Search and Rescue

Revenue Amount Approved – £6,877
Capital Amount Approved – £9396

Organisation: Sky watch Civil Air Patrol NI

Revenue Amount Approved – £4,000
Capital Amount Approved – NIL

Organisation: Search and Rescue Dog Association IN

Revenue Amount Approved – £18,500
Capital Amount Approved – £26,500

Organisation: Lagan Search and Rescue

Revenue Amount Approved – £11,000
Capital Amount Approved – £23,180

Organisation: Lough Neagh Rescue

Revenue Amount Approved – £5,200
Capital Amount Approved – £28,995

Organisation: North West Mountain Rescue Team

Revenue Amount Approved – £11,000
Capital Amount Approved – £18,975

Organisation: Joint Application – Sky watch/Lagan Search and Rescue/Lough Neagh Rescue

Revenue Amount Approved – n/a
Capital Amount Approved – £11,669

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