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For Immediate Release


Sept. 2, 2005

Office of the Premier




VICTORIA – British Columbia is contacting the state governments of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi directly to offer assistance through additional search and rescue personnel and other resources, Premier Gordon Campbell announced today.


“I have asked Solicitor General John Les to co-ordinate an immediate cross-government inventory of necessary expertise and equipment,” said Campbell. “When and if we receive a call for assistance from state officials, we’ll be ready to deploy resources quickly and directly.”


The Solicitor General’s office will compile a list of personnel and equipment for possible deployment to Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, where the need for additional resources appears greatest. The list will include search and rescue specialists, medical personnel, police officers, firefighters, utilities technicians, disease control specialists, and infrastructure engineers.


“Time is of the essence,” said Les. “Reports from the affected areas are compelling, and the level of devastation and human suffering is heartbreaking. Resources currently deployed are stretched to the limit.”


Vancouver’s 45-member Urban Search and Rescue Team left for Louisiana Wednesday night and was the first Canadian-based search and rescue team to reach that state’s affected zones.


“British Columbians know all too well the devastation and chaos that natural disasters bring to communities,” said Campbell. “They know that the task of rebuilding can take years. For that reason, our province has the resources, the capacity and the will to help our American neighbours in any way we can.”



 3 backgrounder(s) attached.





Mike Morton

Press Secretary

Office of the Premier

250 213-8218


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