Today Rochelle from the Police Search and Rescue (SARS) team came to visit us. She is a Police Officer but also part of the SARS team who help search for lost people in the bush throughout New Zealand.
|Rochelle and her special Search & Rescue vehicle.|
Rochelle talked to us about what we need to do and take with us if we go bush walking. We always need to check a map and work out what trail we will be using. It is really important to let someone know where we are going and when we are going to be back. That way they know if we don't turn up, that we're lost. If we're lost, they will call 111.
If you are going into the bush, you should take a backpack with you that has a fluorescent waterproof cover and contains: food for a day + extras, drink bottle, waterproof bag containing a map, compass, warm jersey, rain jacket, gloves; another waterproof bag with first aid kit, cellphone, emergency locator beacon, torch, whistle; survival blanket, pack liner (can be used as a sleeping bag). This is the same stuff that the Search and Rescue team take with them when they go into the bush. They also take binoculars, radios, night vision goggles.
|This is a survival blanket.|
Police SARS Officers are 'normal' Police when they are not on Search & Rescue duties. If you want to join the team you train as a Police Officer and then after 2 years, can specialise. If you do not want to become a Police Officer, you can volunteer as a Land Search & Rescue team member. There are also urban search and rescue teams (that might helps finds people in earthquakes etc). The Coastguard look after anyone that might be lost at sea.
If you are lost in the bush and the SARS team come looking for you, they will make lots of noise with whistles and calling out. They might have a search dog with them too. If you hear them, call out loudly "Help!" and blow your whistle. This will help them find you. Better still, if you have a locator beacon and have pushed the button, they will be able to find your exact location using satellites!
The Search & Rescue team go out in any weather at any time of day. They use helicopters with winches, 4-wheel drive vehicles and sometimes quad bikes.
Rochelle said she really enjoys her job as she enjoys helping people and they are always pleased when they are found!
You can find out more about Police Search and Rescue by clicking here.