Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 17 June 2010 Contents LOCAL NEWS
Page 4 | 17 June, 2010
Search and rescue personnel from
throughout Southland were put through
advanced air observer training in Fiordland
over the weekend as part of a nationwide
plan to improve search standards.
The training exercises, run by the
national Rescue Coordination Centre
(RCC) in conjunction with police, is part
of a $500,000 funding injection by the
Government to boost training for those
undertaking search and rescue operations.
The project was prompted by coronial
recommendations following shortcomings
identified during a couple of inquests in the
RCC training manager Rodney Bracefield
was in Fiordland for last weekend’s training
which involved about 30 people from police,
coastguard, land search and rescue, pilots
and regional emergency services.
Saturday featured ground-based lectures
covering a range of topics such as knowing
what a search observer should do, the
effects of flying and aerial searching on the
body – eyesight in particular – and safety
around planes and helicopters. There were
also sessions on search planning and
preparation and how to debrief.
On Sunday the participants were up in the
air, doing searches from fixed wing aircraft
in two emergency scenarios, one land
based the other in the water.
Monday was a helicopter-based refresher
course for people who had previously
completed the aerial search training.
Mr Bracefield said many of the people
involved were experienced searchers but
there were always new things to learn.
Understanding perspective was a cruicial
tool for aerial searchers when making
assessments at altitudes and angles that
varied depending on terrain and the aircraft
Also important was understanding the
body’s limits when it came to intensive
searching over a long period. While
it was human nature to want to keep
looking, experience had shown the
importance of rotating search crews
– tired eyes could miss subtle clues.
“The person on the ground is relying
on you finding them.”
Mr Bracefield and his team have spent 15
of the past 19 weekends running training
seminars throughout the country. It is
anticipated that from now on refresher
courses will be held every two years.
But there were also things people could
do to assist themselves in the case of an
emergency and that was to carry registered
beacons. Beacons had changed the face
of search and rescue – “but it’s not the
panacea that people think – you know, you
turn the beacon on and you’ll be rescued in
15 minutes. It can be three to four hours.”
It was essential that people registered their
beacons which meant when it was activated
search personnel could respond more
effectively, with the means to find out such
things as how many people were in your
party and what your intentions were.
Beacon registration becomes compulsory
from July 1 but at present about a third
of beacons in New Zealand remain
unregistered, Mr Bracefield said.
Search skills honed
Rescue Coordination Centre training manager Rodney Bracefield catches up with Fiordland aviator
Russell Baker during a trraining exercise at Manapouri over the weekend.
The work of the country’s best
joiners will be celebrated in Te Anau
this weekend as the New Zealand
Master Joiners holds its annual
conference and awards in Fiordland.
The conference begins on June
17 with the winning entries in the
Master Joiner Awards announced
at a prizegiving dinner on Saturday
The aim of the awards is to promote
excellence in joinery, to encourage
the use of sustainable timbers and
best practice, and to showcase the finest
work from the industry.
These are the largest industry awards of
their kind in New Zealand. Judging criteria
includes design, quality of workmanship,
use of materials, complexity of project, and
visual appeal. Kitchen design is judged
on the ‘wow’ factor, cutting edge design,
practicality, and creative use of materials
Also announced at the Awards Dinner are
the Master Joiners Apprentice Awards.
This competition is open to all joinery
apprentices in New Zealand who may
present a project with a minimum of
80 percent completed entirely by the
apprentice. Prizes are awarded in the 0 to
4000 hours, 4001 to 8000 and 4001 to
8000 apprenticeship hours categories.
The annual Master Joiner Awards and
conference are being held at the Distinction
Te Anau Hotel and Villas. Keynote speaker
is Wayne Carran who will talk on avalanche
control on the Milford Road. The conference
programme also allows time for delegates
to explore the area and includes visits to
Milford and Doubtful Sounds.
Top tradesmen join in Te Anau
Links Archive Fiordland Advocate 10 June 2010 Fiordland Advocate 24 June 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page