Civil Defence response team volunteers sought

New Zealand Response Team 16 in action. Supplied photos.

Keen, fit volunteers are being given a rare opportunity this week to get involved with New Zealand Response Team 16.

NZRT16 is the Bay of Plenty’s trained volunteer team, providing hands-on support for Civil Defence Emergency Management in the region.

The team is in the process of becoming nationally accredited through the National Emergency Management Agency and is recruiting for new members.

Team leader Shaun Thomson says members have a range of skills, but the most important thing for new recruits is a good attitude, a decent level of fitness and the ability to be a team player.

"We have weekly trainings where we build our skills: it’s not crucial for people to be experienced in things like search and rescue because that will be part of ongoing training.

"What’s more important is enthusiasm, teamwork and commitment. They also need to be able to lift, carry and climb, because that’s central to much of what we do."

NZRT volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds and ‘day jobs’ but they all share a desire to help Bay of Plenty communities with hands on, practical support during emergencies.

Emergency Management Bay of Plenty’s Mark Crowe, who serves as the region’s Group Controller during civil defence activations, says NZRTs are a valuable part of Civil Defence Emergency Management.

"During emergencies, people with great skills often want to help in the official response effort, which is fantastic, but the benefit of being in an NZRT is that members are safety-trained to a national standard.

"That means they can be deployed for a greater range of tasks and be a lot more hands-on than a standard volunteer could be.

"NZRTs have training in flood response, first aid and other skills which are hugely valuable in emergency events. Just as important is they train together as a team, so they know each other’s strengths and how to work together under pressure."

The recruitment evening this Thursday, June 6.

Apply now by filling in the form or scanning the QR code below


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