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

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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.

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