Training for civil defence volunteers

Three Gore civil defence volunteers joined their Invercargill counterparts for a civil defence emergency exercise in Tautuku last weekend.
Gore Civil Defence Light Rescue Squad team leader Ross Baird said the volunteers took part in the weekend-long training exercise conducted by Invercargill Civil Defence.

‘‘We competed in four of the eight possible exercises that were put on. It was full on and we were knackered by the end of the day,'' Mr Baird said.
The volunteers were arranged into teams of six.

Their first mission was to get all members of their team up and over a 4m-high rock wall.

‘‘We were the only team that achieved that,'' Mr Baird said.

The next mission was to locate and treat a victim with head injuries and a broken leg who was lost in bush.

‘‘It was thick, thick bush - you had to take your gear off to get through it,'' Mr Baird said.

After that, each team had to retrieve a stranded vehicle from the surf at Tautuku Beach and rescue a casualty who had slipped 35m down a steep bank into a creek, he said.

Gore's Civil Defence Light Rescue Squad is always in need of more volunteers.

In a civil defence emergency, volunteers would organise and lead a massive search and rescue for victims.

A civil defence meeting held at the Mataura Community Centre last week attracted about 23 people interested in becoming volunteers.

Gore District Council civil defence officer Joe Cummings said the meeting was to communicate the different roles and responsibilities of emergency organisations dealing with a disaster.

Gore's civil defence emergency team covered Mataura to Waikaka and there were only 40 volunteers if that, Mr Cummings said.

‘‘We have to train up key personnel that can facilitate on the day [of a civil defence emergency] the volunteers that turn up,'' Mr Cummings said.

-Anybody wanting to become a civil defence volunteer should contact Joe Cummings on (03) 209-0330 for more information.

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