Gov. Dunleavy approves legislation to support search and rescue volunteers

    Gov. Mike Dunleavy

    Wasilla, Alaska (KINY) - Governor Mike Dunleavy has signed the Ellie Mae Act to provide support to statewide volunteer search and rescue organizations at no cost to the state.

    Senate Bill 95, sponsored by Sen. David Wilson, allows volunteer search and rescue organizations to exercise the right of first refusal on items related to search and rescue before the property is sold, leased, licensed, or disposed of.

    “As Alaskans we hear countless stories of search and rescue missions, oftentimes due to the extreme elements we experience statewide. From recreational incidents to the Iditarod and natural disasters, our search and rescue volunteers play an essential role in rural and urban Alaska,” said Governor Mike Dunleavy. “I am happy to sign Senate Bill 95 today and thank Senator Wilson for his work to find innovative solutions to support these selfless volunteer organizations at no cost to the state.”

    Senator Wilson named the legislation the Ellie Mae Act in honor of a service dog. Service dogs are critical in search and rescue operations statewide.

    “Search and rescue operations across the State of Alaska are largely done by volunteer organizations, dispatched by the Alaska State Troopers, at minimal cost. I’m very pleased to see Senate Bill 95, the Ellie Mae Act, signed into law,” said Sen. Wilson. “It enables these volunteers to more easily obtain the equipment they need to fulfill their life-saving missions.”

    Search and Rescue organizations are dispatched by the Alaska State Troopers across the state. Senate Bill 95 allows these groups to exercise the right of first refusal on items that may be used for search and rescue before they are put up for auction to the general public. This comes at no additional cost to the state.

    While groups may be reimbursed for expenses incurred during specific operations, search and rescue services are provided at a minimal cost to the State of Alaska. There are nearly 1,100 search and rescue volunteers statewide.

     

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