A team practicing a General Rescue technique for lowering a casualty in a stretcher

First Aid is an important skill for our members

We have regular realistic scenario-based exercises throughout the year, and try to involve each of the other Emergency Service organisations at least once a year

Canyoning is a popular activity for our members during summer
The Wollongong area is densely populated, so we train in dealing with the effects of storm, flood, and wind in the context of city life. We maintain specialist skills in bush search and rescue, remote-area first aid, and vertical rescue to handle emergencies in the Illawarra's extremely rugged terrain. Our coverage area includes a long stretch of coastline, many creeks and streams, and Lake Illawarra, so we maintain skills in rescue-boat operations.

We train every Monday night for two and a half hours at our Headquarters. Most training is done within the response teams with one or two specialist courses being run concurrently for members of all the teams. On the last Monday in the month we alternate between running a combined training night, at which we usually have a guest presenter, and a whole unit exercise or simulation. In addition to this we also run some weekend training such as structured courses or exercises.

The majority of our training consists of practical, competency-based work. Each new volunteer is assigned a mentor: an experienced volunteer who provides one-on-one coaching and assistance.

Induction Training

New members undertake an induction training course when they first join the unit. This covers things such as history and structure of the organisation, basic communication and familiarisation with our local unit.

Core-role Training

The bulk of our training is for our primary role of flood and storm response operations. This includes the following courses:

  • General Rescue
  • Storm- and Water-Damage Operations
  • First Aid
  • Communication Equipment Operation
  • Working in an Operations Centre
  • Map Reading and Navigation
  • Chainsaw Operation
  • Flood Rescue Boat Operations 
Support-role Training

Once members have met the requirements to fulfill our primary roles they train in areas to assist in our support roles. This training includes:

  • Land Search Operations
  • Four Wheel Drive vehicle operation
  • Vertical Rescue
  • Remote Area First Aid
  • Emergency Management
Other Training

In addition to the above training our unit regularly participates in a number of weekend activities such as

  • Cave Rescue training and exercises
  • Wilderness Navigation exercises and competitions
  • AUSSAR Air Observation and DropMaster training
Social Activities

As well as more formal training we also run a number of more social training activities designed to develop outdoor skills in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. These include activities such as

  • Bushwalking
  • Canyoning
  • Caving
  • Four wheel driving
  • Abseiling
The worst in nature, the best in us