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Archive | Bushwalking safety

Bushwalkers Search and Rescue

It is time to explore past history of Bushwalkers Search and Rescue via the web.  Search and rescue in NSW has evolved considerably since Bushwalkers Search and Rescue was established in 1936 as the S & R Section of the NSW Federation of Bushwalking Clubs (now Bushwalking NSW).  In the early days radio communication did not exist and helicopters only came into common use during the 1970s.  The files also provide a snap shot of bushwalking history as equipment and knowledge improved so new areas were explored. Newspaper items are featured.

 

NSW Police and Bushwalkers S&R Search Managers at John Keys search 1977

Highlights in this past history include the first search in 1936; major searches for missing school girls during 1960s; the amazing rescue of Dennis Rittson from Kalang Falls in 1970; 1982, three killed in a sudden flash flood of Claustral Canyon; 1993, the search for crew of a plane crash in the Kanangra Boyd area; numerous reports of Barrington Tops searches over many years for a Cessna lost in 1981 plus much much more.

Unfortunately while there are a number of deaths there are far more successful outcomes.

Bushwalkers S & R has also changed as s & r methods have improved so it is now part of NSW SES as Bush Search and Rescue NSW.

Start exploring at the link below.  (Be amazed!)

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1cSOMp9zsdYCFG7qbtHrrSQ2-i36U64Pz?ogsrc=32

Stretcher Practice

Shoalhaven Bushwalkers had a first aid incident recently that resulted in some rather creative first aid practice involving a makeshift stretcher.

A short while into an off-track walk, one of their members ruptured his achilles tendon jumping between rocks.

After discussed diagnosis and plan of action, three members returned slowly with the patient, using borrowed walking poles, to the cars.

While waiting for the return of two of the walkers,  the remaining group decided to do a bit of first aid practice. Since there were no heavy duty rain jackets in the gear that day, they decided to try making a stretcher out of day packs.

As you can see, this was their successful result. In a real situation the packs could be emptied to lighten the load leaving a few soft items for support!

Photo: Karen Davis.

BUSH SEARCH AND RESCUE NSW TO JOIN NSW STATE EMERGENCY SERVICE

Bush Search and Rescue NSW​ have today announced that they have joined the NSW State

Emergency Service as the NSW SES Bush Search and Rescue Unit​ (NSW SES BSAR).

The move is an exciting development in the history of BSAR NSW, the oldest volunteer land

search unit in Australia, and will build on the existing land search capability within the SES.

 

With a focus on remote area searches, conducted in rough and challenging terrain, over 100

members of Bush Search and Rescue NSW will bring their knowledge and experience of working

in wilderness areas to the NSW SES. With expertise in bush navigation, search techniques,

canyon and vertical searching, BSAR will form an integral part of the SES’ response to land search

operations across the state.

 

President of Bush Search and Rescue NSW, Keith Maxwell says,

“Since 1936, BSAR has brought together experienced and skilled bushwalkers, many with valuable

local knowledge of wilderness areas, to assist the NSW Police and other agencies in searching for

missing people and aircraft. Our move to work as a unit within the NSW SES, will only go to

strengthen the existing relationships we have with the SES and help provide the best possible land

search and rescue capability to the people of NSW.”

 

The move comes at a time when the NSW SES is undergoing significant change to its structures

and organisation. These changes, spearheaded by their ‘Volunteering Reimagined’ initiative,

opens up new ways of building capability and capacity, within a new and flexible model of

volunteering.

 

“I am proud and honoured to welcome the Bush Search and Rescue into the NSW SES. The

BSAR volunteers will greatly enhance our Service’s remote search capability, bringing a wealth of

specialised experience with an excellent reputation. They are now very much a part of our NSW

SES family, and I look forward to them supporting search operations across the state.” Mark

Smethurst, NSW SES Commissioner.

 

NSW SES BSAR will operate as a unit within the SES and continue to be available to respond to

remote area land searches 24/7, as they have done under the umbrella of the Volunteer Rescue

Association (VRA), since 1970.

 

As hosts of the annual NavShield​ event (Australian Emergency Services Wilderness Navigation

Shield), BSAR are looking forward to the event sitting within the SES and continuing to grow the

training, development and team building opportunities that this premier navigation event offers.

For media enquiries, please contact: publicity@bsar.org.au | 0412 304 071 or

secretary@bsar.org.au

Photo courtesy of Caro Ryan

 

Bushwalkers & Rogainers 30th Annual NavShield

Press Release to Bushwalkers & Rogainers

30th Annual NavShield

23 & 24 June 2018

Great Navigation Training Opportunity!

Please add to your winter activities program

The NSW Emergency Services Wilderness Navigation Shield (NavShield), is a rogain event where teams
attempt to gain as many points as possible by finding their way on foot, through unfamiliar wilderness terrain
to pre-marked checkpoints.

The course covers an area of approximately 80 square kilometres with only traditional map and compass
navigation techniques permitted. There are both day and overnight event options.
The course is set by a team of skilled navigators from Bush Search and Rescue NSW (the oldest land
search and rescue unit in Australia) – the official Search & Rescue arm of Bushwalking NSW.

The course is set in a secret location (approx 2.5 hrs from Sydney) and will take place on the last weekend
of June 2018.

Encompassing the finest traditions and character of off-track bushwalking, NavShield is an opportunity to
get back to basics and work on important navigation skills, without the use of GPS technology.
It’s an ideal training opportunity for your club members to learn and practice on a fun and enjoyable
weekend. You can choose to make it as competitive or as amateur/fun as you like!

We ask all bushwalking clubs to please add this great event to their calendars and encourage teams to take
part.

With a successful 30 year history, we want to make this year’s event one to celebrate and are planning for it
to be a standout event. If you or your club has ever considered taking part, or perhaps attended past events,
we invite you to make a commitment to be a part of this 30th year celebration event.

To celebrate and thanks to the generous support of our friends in SES and RFS, we’ve reduced the entry
fee to only $40 per person. All the more reason to get involved!

Past events have seen entries from a variety of Bushwalking Clubs and Rogainers, Police, Ambulance, Rural
Fire Service, State Emergency Service, Volunteer Rescue Association and the Armed Forces.

Now is the time to organise and motivate your club to take part in this great event!

Registrations open 2 April.

For all details and registration, visit Bush Search and Rescue NSW.

Bush Search and Rescue (BSAR) at work

Barrington Tops OPEX.

This annual September search (OPEX) for the missing Cessna plane VH-MDX in Barrington Tops has become a major multi agency training exercise.  Also present were various SES, RFS and VRA units / personnel.

September Callout

For two days in late September Bush Search and Rescue (BSAR) assisted NSW Police in a search for a missing elderly man with dementia.  He had been missing for a number of days in urban bush land near Baulkham Hills.  As always, the areas BSAR searched were tracked (for later download) on our GPS receivers.  Unfortunately, his location is still unknown.

Web page

Web page hosting has generally moved on.  BSAR has used this opportunity to update its web page.  As usual, BSAR still has worthwhile content on GPS, distress beacons (PLB and EPIRB), the Police TREK program for free PLB loan, outback communications and bush safety.

See www.bsar.org.au

Community Involvement

On 7th October BSAR will again be active in safety support for an outdoors event in the Blue Mountains.  Participants in the Hounslow Classic will do challenging ascents as they traverse the Grose Valley from Blackheath.

Among the many recent outdoors events where BSAR has offered safety support is OXFAM TrailWalker.  BSAR provided Safety Response Teams for this 48 hour event.

BSAR uses the outdoors skills of bushwalkers to provide a well-respected community service in remote area search and rescue.  In 1936 the ‘Search and Rescue Section’ of Bushwalking NSW was established.  It is now BSAR.

Guest Author: Keith Maxwell

Bushwalking: Get There and Back Safely – NavShield 2017

NavShield – Teams from clubs of BNSW achieved good results in the 29th NavShield held at Marramarra National Park on the edge of Sydney.  Over 400 persons participated in this annual remote area map and compass navigation training event for emergency services.  Bush Search and Rescue NSW (BSAR) would love to accept more BNSW Club teams into their great navigation event that is designed for all levels of navigator fro m beginner to very competent.

NavShield 2018-  Personnel from SES, RFS, VRA, NSW Police, NSW Ambulance plus bushwalking clubs all participate in a friendly atmosphere at NavShield in either the ONE day or TWO  day event.

June 25th & 26th 2018 will be our 30th NavShield.  Mark your diary now but be aware that NavShield is addictive.  This year BSAR handed out 25 year Attendance Awards!

First Aid – As well as encouraging navigation skills, BSAR would like to encourage First Aid skills in bushwalking clubs.

Shortly, registration will open for November courses in St John Ambulance “Provide First Aid” (one day course) or “Remote Area First Aid” (RAFA a three day course).  All enrolment and FA course details will eventually be at the BSAR website – www.bsar.org.au  Be quick; don’t wait to enrol in these popular courses.

Take time at this website to explore information on bush safety, distress beacons (Personal Locator Beacons – PLB), GPS receivers, outdoors communication, NavShield results plus how you can be part of that great community service of Bushwalking NSW, Bush Search and Rescue NSW.

Guest Author: Keith Maxwell

Bush Search and Rescue (BSAR) NSW is the new name for BWRS

Bushwalkers Wilderness Rescue Squad have today announced a change of squad name to Bush Search and Rescue (BSAR) NSW.

The name change reflects the skills, experience and resources available within this specialist squad of the Volunteer Rescue Association.

Squad President Keith Maxwell explains, “Over recent years, it’s become apparent that our previous name was not only a mouthful to say and remember, but didn’t accurately reflect the broader range of services that we offer to the Police and people of NSW in our capacity as volunteers.”

With a history that dates back to 1936 (then referred to as the Search & Rescue arm of the NSW Confederation of Bushwalking Clubs) Bush Search and Rescue NSW work closely with the NSW Police Force, specifically the Police Rescue Squad, to provide fit, experienced and highly competent personnel who specialise in the area of wilderness search and rescue.

“The truth is, we don’t only search for missing bushwalkers. Our more recent work has included canyoners, dementia patients, small children or tourists who’ve wandered off into bushland areas,” continues Maxwell.

Bush Search and Rescue’s skills include a high level of bushcraft and self-sufficiency in a wilderness setting, vertical rescue and roping techniques, wilderness first aid, land search techniques, remote communications and remote area transport.

“It is our hope that the adoption of this new name will see us referred to colloquially as ‘BSAR’ and is yet another indication of our ability to change and modernise, whilst fulfilling the needs of the public and the emergency services community.

For further information on Bush Search and Rescue (NSW) , please contact publicity@bsar.org.au or secretary@bsar.org.au.

Inclusiveness

Recently a member ask us about ‘member protection’ – she was referring to the terms used in Sport & Recreation: http://www.ausport.gov.au/supporting/integrity_in_sport/member_and_child_protection

To use the Sport & Recreation phrasing, bushwalking should also be “safe, fair and inclusive for everyone involved…..[and clubs should seek to] to prevent and address discrimination and harassment and to protect children from abuse.”

These attitudes and behaviours are deeply ingrained in our clubs.  The fact that bushwalking clubs welcome all members of society, and provide social interaction and recreation for all people, is one of the reasons why I work for Bushwalking NSW!

Clubs have reached out to Bushwalking NSW for assistance on these matters and we have helped these clubs out on these sensitive matters.  If you have any concerns or suggestions in this area, feel free to contact us for assistance.  You can reach me using my personal email or use our form on the contact us page.

To describe some of the ways that Bushwalking NSW is safe, fair and inclusive:

Our clubs also practice inclusivity in may ways, the most common is that clubs promote the culture of always pacing the walk to the slowest walker.  Members have even benighted themselves for the safety of their fellow walkers and the group.