3 Mar 2013

Canterbury rescuers in 24-hour training exercise

8:51 am on 3 March 2013

Search and rescue teams, first responders and emergency service personnel have been taking part in a gruelling a 24-hour training exercise in Canterbury.

The excercise at Alford Forest station in Mid-Canterbury involved 125 people and began at midday on Saturday.

Canterbury Search and Rescue co-ordinator Sergeant Ryan O'Rourke said it is designed to assess the teams in the most realistic way possible.

They must find their way to 13 "skill stations" where they will be assessed on search and rescue skills such as navigation, first aid, search methods and helicopter safety.

Mr O'Rourke said the round-the-clock exercise will push participants physically and mentally.

The exercise involves the Christchurch and South Canterbury police SAR squads, LandSAR groups from throughout Canterbury, Coastguard, Amateur Radio Emergency Communications (AREC), Search and Rescue Institute New Zealand (SARINZ) and RNZAF 3 Squadron.