Mat-Su Search and Rescue (MATSAR) Volunteers have had to get a little more creative in how they make all their equipment purchases and pay for essentially everything the past couple of years according to Training and Safety Board Volunteer, Mark Stigar.
Stigar said most of the search and rescue teams in Alaska are non-profit, volunteer based organizations. All volunteer search teams fall under the State Troopers, where he said they also used to get some funding from.
“We have no source of income that comes into us for operations and maintenance or training recently in the last two years,” he said, “because the statewide search and rescue group ran their grant out two years ago and it hasn’t been funded by the legislature since then.”
Stigar said they need to pay for a lot of the ‘little things,’ like gas, the emergency phone system, and smaller equipment like radios. At the end of the year, he said it would only be around $5,000 to cover their regular expenses.