Selwyn responders ready for action

by Anonymous Author

The volunteer Selwyn Response Team, is now ready for a Civil Defence emergency.

Selwyn Mayor, Sam Broughton, presented the 27 members with badges at a function in Rolleston recently. The badges signify that the team is now operational for some types of emergency. The team will have ongoing training throughout the year to add to its skills in disaster response.

“The council is very grateful to these dedicated individuals who have given up much of their time and energy to help the council and their community,” Mayor Broughton said.

“This team is fully made up of volunteers, so it really is a case of Selwyn residents helping other Selwyn residents.”

Council emergency management officer, Ryan O’Rourke, said the team will provide a capability that the Selwyn District hasn’t had before.

“In other emergencies, we’ve had to borrow response team personnel from other councils such as Christchurch and Waimakariri,” Mr O’Rourke said.

“Our new response team will be able to assist with evacuations, the provision of emergency welfare, needs assessment for people remaining in their homes after a disaster, reconnaissance and light rescue.

“While we will still rely on assistance from emergency services, the NZDF and community organisations, we will have a better in-house capability and not be quite so quick to place demands on those other services.

“We’re now a little more resilient to the challenges we are likely to face after an emergency in Selwyn,” he said.

The volunteer team was recruited in 2017 and started training in January this year, completing close to 2,000 hours of training.

The team has completed training in light rescue, urban search and rescue awareness, first aid, the coordinated incident management system (CIMS), leading spontaneous volunteers, communications and a range of other subjects.

The team’s skills will put into practice when they participate in a South Island Response Team exercise being held in the Selwyn district this weekend.

Council already has 30 Community Response Teams throughout Selwyn providing local support during Civil Defence events.