Meridian grants $8000 to Search and Rescue

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Search and rescue operations in the upper Waitaki Valley area will be safer and more adept thanks to a grant from Meridian Energy’s Waitaki Community Fund.
Omarama Search and Rescue received $8000 in the latest round of funding, to purchase new mapping software and radio communications equipment which will make it easier to detect people who are lost, and make operations more efficient.
Constable Nayland Smith, of Omarama police, said the majority of areas where the organisation provided services had little or no cellphone coverage, while radio coverage was also limited.
“The new handsets for our radios will send a signal back to the incident management team showing on the mapping software the exact location of the search and rescue number, in real time.
“This will ensure that an area is correctly searched and it’s also safer for volunteers, as we’ll know exactly where they are at any given time.”
The Duntroon District and Development Association also received $2000 from the fund for a new carved archway to be installed at the entrance to the Duntroon wetland.
The association has managed the wetland on behalf of the wider Duntroon community for several years and during that time, has developed tracks, removed willows and maintained plantings.
In total, Meridian donated more than $78,000 to several organisations.
Others to receive funding were: Waitai Valley Preschool ($10,000), Twizel Community Trust ($6500), Residents Association of Omarama ($9632), Glenavy Mobile Kindergarten ($4000), New Zealand Alpine Club ($3000), Te Whare Mahana Twizel Cultural Centre ($10,000), Papakaio School 150th Celebration Committee ($5000), Kurow JAB Rugby Club ($5000), Duntroon School ($5000), Kurow Golf Club ($2500) and Papakaio Community Hall Trust ($7500).