Firefighters from around New Zealand took the opportunity to visit the South Island Urban Search and Rescue Task Force base on 27 October prior to the UFBA Annual Conference in Christchurch.
Organised by the New Zealand Fire Brigades’ Institute, the Field Day provided the opportunity for the Task Force to demonstrate its capabilities to attendees, giving them an insight into how it operates from deployment to ‘make-up’.
Members of the Christchurch and Timaru Task Forces participated in the day, hosted by Team Leader Paul Burns.
The day began with a tour of the facility and demonstrations of equipment and resources available including using a sniffer-dog for search and rescue operations, electronic listening devices, line rescue, information technology and the provision of amenities required when on deployment.
Paul presented on the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake response. Mitchell Brown, who was a member of the National USAR Management Team at the time of 2011 Japanese Tsunami, then presented on the response to that disaster.
NZFBI Field Day Coordinator Scott Lanauze says the Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces form a vital part of modern-day fire services response capability in New Zealand.
“Having the opportunity to take a closer look at this operation was worthwhile for those who could attend”, Scott says. “Attendees also received certificates of attendance which incorporated CPD hours from IFE."
The NZFBI Council decided to run a half-day event in Christchurch as an alternative to the usual full day, in order to accommodate the travel needs of the attendees while ensuring the length of the Field Day was appropriate for the venue and topic.
“We’ve received some good feedback on the format of the day as it was the right amount of time for the right amount of content,” Scott says. “We’ll keep this in mind for future events to ensure we increase the level of participation in our Field Day programme”.
Photos: Scott Lanauze
You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in (top right) or register.