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.
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.
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
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
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
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
- Four wheel driving