The Tauranga Civil Defence Rescue Team has been around since the 1980s. In 2004 the team came under the ownership of Tauranga Search & Rescue Inc. (TSAR), with a contract with the Western Bay of Plenty Emergency Management Office to provide a light USAR Team.
The team was registered as NZ-RT16 in April 2006 and is one of three teams in the Bay of Plenty; NZ-RT15 based in Rotorua and NZ-RT17 based in Whakatane being the other two. We are a 20 strong team.
Since being registered we have been used by the Police to provide a High Angle Rope Team for various jobs from locating and retrieving lost persons to clearing areas from a search area. The team was deployed nationally to assist in the recent February 2011 Christchurch Earthquakes.
The team consists of one team medic (ambulance officer by day), one geo-technical engineer, three fire service trained personnel, one registered nurse, construction experience, commercial and industrial electrical, electronic and instrumentation, mechanics, LandSAR trained personnel (search management & field personnel). This gives us a good range of skills from outside the team.
The team has training in Storm Response, Flood Response, Coordinated Incident Management Systems (CIMS), High Angle Ropes, Swift water, Managing Land Search Operations (MLSO) and Land Search & Rescue.
In the new response team environment, we are looking to focus on the needs and risks in our area and enhance the Western Bay’s capacity to respond.
The team members are all keen to progress their capabilities and improve their skills across the board.