New members urgently needed for VRA

22nd Mar 2022

Guyra Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA) are once again on the lookout for members of our community to join our diminishing team of proactive volunteers.
Many of our current volunteer Rescue Operators have served your community of Guyra 24/7 for decades. With seven qualified Rescue Operators, one Trainee and two Standby members for Land Search operations. Our numbers are becoming thin on the ground when the average Rescue requires a minimum of four qualified members. Our current rescue members average age is 54 yrs so it is a cause for concern when these members need to migrate towards a life outside of Emergency Services and we need a few years to bring new members to a level off operational competency.
What the VRA does in communities throughout NSW is provide General Land Rescue Services to the people of NSW. Traditionally VRA is known for its roles in Road Crash Rescue, Search and Rescue for missing persons, Industrial and Domestic Rescues and Urban Search and Rescue following natural or manmade disasters.
The recent NSW Floods have seen our NSW VRA Rescue Teams in these disaster zones performing a number of Rescue and related evacuation tasks including our VRA Swift Water Rescue technicians from all around the state working alongside technicians from other professional and volunteer emergency service agencies. Although Guyra VRA was requested to provide Rescue Operators to this disastrous event, it simply wasn’t possible due to our limited personnel numbers and our primary General Land Rescue role in and around Guyra.
Again, due to our dwindling member numbers, we are finding it a real struggle to undertake vital out of area updated training in all facets of rescue, assist other close by rescue agencies when they put out the request for assistance, or simply just have time away with family and friends outside of the 24/7 on call commitment that has become essential due to our limited member numbers and commitment to duty of care.
So to put it bluntly, we need help !! Foremost we need proactive, community minded people to attempt to double our qualified rescue trained member numbers over the next 12-18 months and then continue to provide some commitment to your wider community.
What the NSW VRA can offer you other than being part of a team that makes a difference to your community and its visitors is the training and support to work towards becoming a certified Rescue Operator that is an asset to your community.
As an accepted Trainee Rescue member you will be provided with Rescue Safety Induction, be trained to achieving Rescue Operator Induction, then forward to Rescue Operator Minimum. It’s at this point you will be provided with a VRA Uniform. From here you will receive a First Aid qualification and be able to attend Rescue incidents with senior members. This all occurs locally here in Guyra and your VRA operator journey can remain at this level if you wish providing continued minimum training standards are met.
The new change to reaching the General Land Rescue operator standard is now a five day course run generally within our New England-Northwest VRA Zone. Members will attain qualifications in Road Crash Rescue, Industrial and Domestic Rescue and Urban Search and Rescue. Further courses in Swift Water Rescue, Flood Boats, Vertical Rescue and Incident Management are also available.
Uniform, Meals, Accommodation and travel are all provided for this Nationally accredited training that has seen many VRA members go onto a professional career in Emergency Services, and many other public services organisations that look at these qualities.
Reach out if we can answer any questions, or come along to the VRA “Shed” on our training nights Thursdays at 7pm.
Chris Gaddes
Guyra VRA