Kent Harrison Search and Rescue manager Neil Brewer stands in front of some of the team’s equipment inside their relatively new building on Industrial Way in Agassiz. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Kent-Harrison SAR manager honoured with provincial award

Neil Brewer is one of this year’s B.C. Community Achievers

Kent-Harrison Search and Rescue manager Neil Brewer is being honoured for his dedication to search and rescue in the community, being named on of B.C. Community Achievers.

“It was a surprise. I had no idea,” Brewer said. “I had never even heard of the award. So when I got the call it was ‘Say again? What is this?’

“But the more I heard about it, the more pleased I was, because obviously it’s quite an honour to be nominated and actually given the award.”

For the last 16 years, the British Columbia Achievement Foundation has recognized residents who strengthen their communities and inspire others to take part in local activities. Brewer was one of 25 British Columbians to receive the award this year, and was chosen because of his involvement in provincial search and rescue activities.

“For nearly three decades, Neil Brewer has gone beyond the call of duty as a member of the Kent Harrison Search and Rescue (SAR) team,” the release reads, adding that he is “known throughout the province by other SAR teams for his determination, skill and exemplary leadership.”

RELATED: Kent Harrison Search and Rescue looks back on 2018

For Brewer, this award echoes some of the things he is most proud of in his SAR career: KHSAR’s relationship with the community and his work with BCSARA to bring funding to the groups around the province.

Although it’s not his first award — 65-year-old Brewer has been the recipient of the SAR Volunteer of the Year award and Certificates of Recognition from the National SAR Secretariat in the past — he said he is feeling excited.

“We live in an area that does have quite a few hazards,” he said. “So to be part of that whole emergency response network, and then to be recognized for it as well, I think is great.”

All 25 honourees will be recognized in a formal presentation at Government House in Victoria on May 1, where they will receive a certificate and medal.

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