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Kuaotunu Search and Rescue at Stoney Bay

By Fee Murphy.

Kuaotunu Search and Rescue (KSAR) volunteers have just returned from a highly successful training exercise at Stoney Bay last weekend.

As our call out search area covers the north of the Coromandel, we decided to go a little further afield for our main training weekend this year. Deploying our mobile base trailer allows us to set up a control centre at any location and we carry enough communication equipment to manage a search from anywhere.

All members of KSAR are required to have a ready “GO” backpack with enough equipment and food to sustain themselves for 24 hours of searching. This preparedness was put to the test.

The training weekend was divided into three sessions. The first session was setting up our mobile base trailer and our individual overnight camping equipment. Then the Field Teams and the Incident Management Teams (IMT) underwent some basic individual training sessions. The Field Teams reviewed map, GPS, ropes, knots, stretcher, and first aid skills. The IMT reviewed all incident management procedures which must be properly recorded and documented in case there is a Police investigation after a search.

Also, everyone was trained on our WanderSearch equipment that allows us to search for vulnerable people living in our community with a condition (such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, autism, brain injury and Downs Syndrome) who have a risk of going missing.

The second session was a joint scenario with the IMT directing the field teams to search for a missing child who had wandered away from her mother at the campground. “She” was found injured and required first aid on the scene and a helicopter extraction! All this was excellent practice for everyone involved at all levels.

We then enjoyed a lovely “team building” evening of dinner, a few bevvies and a lot of chat!

After a good night’s sleep, we were up again with the sparrows finalising our third session, reviewing and practising our navigation and radio communication skills.

So, well done to all the members of KSAR who were able to take the time out to attend the weekend and thank you to Dean Albiston (Chairman) and Steve Hart who ran the training weekend.

Thank you to DOC for allowing us to use the Stony Bay campground as our base for the weekend. Much appreciated.

All in all, a fantastic training and fun weekend. So, if you get lost, we’ve got you!

Fee Murphy is the KSAR Group Training Officer

Caption: KSAR Volunteers.


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