Skills tested in Search and Rescue exercise
Friday, 3 August 2012 - 10:05am
Tasmania Police Search and Rescue officers and volunteers will test their skills in extreme conditions this weekend when they take part in their major training exercise for 2012.
The Westpac Police Rescue Helicopter and more than 50 participants including police officers, SES volunteers, walking club members, Parks and Wildlife Service and Ambulance Tasmania staff will take part in the three day exercise near Lake St Clair.
“This will be a challenging exercise in alpine conditions. We want to test the capabilities of volunteers in a hostile winter environment,” said Inspector Stuart Scott.
“Volunteers are an important part of Tasmania’s search and rescue resources. Exercises ensure that volunteers can maintain their skills at a high level and the risk to their safety during search and rescue operations is minimised.”
The exercise this weekend will involve a difficult cliff rescue scenario, and walking an ‘injured’ bushwalker out of the area to safety.
For the first time in a search scenario, the deployment of white water kayaks will be tested as a means to move quickly through the search area.
“The Lake St Clair National Park is visited by thousands of people every year and on occasion walkers have become lost or overdue and prolonged search operations are undertaken,” said Inspector Scott.
The relationship between Tasmania Police and volunteer organisations is a strong one and many search and rescue operations have been undertaken with the assistance of volunteers who have excellent local knowledge.
“Exercises are a valuable way to continue to maintain links with other agencies and volunteer groups to ensure Tasmania has the most effective search and rescue capabilities possible,” said Inspector Scott.