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NZ-RT12 Waimakariri District

Key contacts
Team Leader: Jonathan (Willie) Williams
Phone: 021 480 856
Deputy Team Leader Admin/Training: Chris Field
Phone: 021 404 740
Logistics/Procurement Officer: Michael (Mike) Bryce
Phone: 022 021 1051
Waimakariri CDEM Manager: Brennan Wiremu
Waimakariri Emergency Management Office
Phone: 03 313 6136 or 021 480 829

History and activities
NZ-RT12 is a registered volunteer organisation established in the mid 1990s when it became obvious that the district could be isolated from the Christchurch City area by the Waimakariri River that runs the full length of its southern boundary. One of the focal points of the team was to become registered as a NZ Urban Search and Rescue Team. In March 2005 the team registered as NZ-RT12, joining the network of registered response teams. NZ-RT12 now provides USAR response capability to the Canterbury Emergency Management Group to better fulfil its requirements under the 2002 Act.

For some years the team operated mainly in the Rangiora and Kaiapoi area and trained regularly, competing in a number of competitions including the Cliff Dale Trophy run by the then Ministry of Civil Defence for rescue teams throughout the South Island.

As the team developed the need for a more professional approach towards training and equipment was recognised. The existing equipment trailer was too small. A larger dedicated unit was manufactured following fundraising by the Tuahiwi Residents Association and the council. Equipment for the trailer was resourced from the council, through community donations and the support of local business groups. MainPower and Kaiapoi Electricity jointly donated a 7m wooden ladder and other local business’s donated fire extinguishers and other rescue equipment. NZ-RT12 now has its own dedicated training and storage facility in Rangiora and training is held fortnightly on a Wednesday night and the occasional weekend exercise.

All team members must hold a minimum qualification of ‘Orange Card Responder’, which is a NZ Fire Service certification ensuring minimum industry standard of competency. There are also specialists within the team, including swift water rescue, technical rope rescuer, PHEC and medic.

Recent deployments have included a river rescue and most recently the July 2008 storm event in Waimakariri. Future deployments may include such things as earthquake or storm events, collapsed buildings, landslips, pandemic support and mass casualty accidents or incidents. The team is also trained up the installation of new flood barriers systems council purchased following the 2008 storms.

NZ-RT12 has strong direct connections to the New Zealand Fire Service, Rural Fire, and St John. We currently have 19 active members, but may recruit up to a maximum of 20.

Team goals
As our major risks in the area are flooding and storms, the team are looking to continually hone skills in this area.

      Waimakariri Response Team Truck