Last week the members of this assembly voted unanimously to approve the Bill number five, An Act to Amend the Volunteers Liability Act.This afternoon, during Government Orders of the Day, the Clerk will be asking Honourable Members to approve third reading of this same bill.
With the passing of this legislation, Ground Search and Rescue (or G-SAR) volunteers will be afforded the same liability protection that has been previously provided to volunteer fire fighters. G-SAR members also receive free drivers license renewal and vehicle registration from the province.
Madam Speaker, approximately 100 Ground Search and Rescue members – working under the direction of the RCMP – contribute more than 2000 volunteer hours every year in training, meetings and searches. They work to:
- locate and rescue lost or injured persons;
- assist police authorities and EMO with evacuations and natural disasters;
- conduct searches for evidence; and
- provide public education on woods navigation.
These men and women are a valuable part of the emergency response system in Prince Edward Island and I want to take this opportunity to commend them for their dedicated service. Our G-SAR volunteers not only answer the call for help here at home, Madam Speaker.
They are ready and willing to serve in other areas as well, when needed. Earlier this month, 33 PEI Ground Search and Rescue team members provided a total of 890 volunteer hours over three days as part of a five-day search for a gentleman missing in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia.
Both Nova Scotia RCMP and Nova Scotia Ground Search and Rescue officials expressed their gratitude to the PEI GSAR team and complimented them as a professional, experienced, well disciplined and well dressed team.Madam Speaker I am proud of the Prince Edward Island Ground Search and Rescue Team, and pleased to show our support by bringing this legislation forward for third reading today.