SAR vol­un­teer re­ceives top hon­our

Manawatu Guardian - - NEWS -

Andy Brooke wears two hats in search and res­cue, but it was his job as Palmer­ston North SAR vol­un­teer co-or­di­na­tor, and his vol­un­teers, who scooped the top hon­ours of supreme win­ner at the Trust­power Com­mu­nity awards last week.

The other hat Andy wears is in the po­lice search and res­cue squad.

Andy says in the 2017-2018 year the SAR vol­un­teers at­tended 29 search events and gave 1533 hours over 63 days. They also did about 700 hours train­ing.

Trust­power com­mu­nity and com­mu­ni­ca­tions Alice Boyd said the SAR group stood out to the judges for their 24/7 ded­i­ca­tion to the com­mu­nity.

The area the SAR group cov­ers is vast — Tararua, Horowhenua, up to Tu­rak­ina, across to Man­gaweka, the head­lands of Cape Tur­na­gain on the east coast, Mataikona in the Wairarapa and across to Pekapeka on the Ka¯ piti Coast.

Andy said there were mem­o­rable res­cues, some tragic and some that had suc­cess­ful out­comes.

“Some peo­ple go out into the bush with a “she’ll be right” at­ti­tude. The weather changes quickly in New Zealand and a lot of peo­ple aren’t pre­pared for it.

“They fail to en­gage ei­ther be­fore or dur­ing the trip.

“There’s plenty of in­for­ma­tion to plan your trip and what you might need.”

■ www.moun­tain­safety.org.nz/

Grace Shaw, Lau­ren Tait-Davis, Cheri Birch and Abi­gail Birch.

PHOTO / MERANIA KARAURIA

Andy Brooke has been honoured for his work as a Palmer­ston North Search and Res­cue vol­un­teer co-or­di­na­tor.

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