One of the great benefits to membership within the Squad is access to nationally accredited training in a variety of outdoor disciplines.
As a starting point, Prospective Members are required to undertake a Squad Induction Bushwalk. This is a two day walk of medium difficulty and mostly off track. The purpose of the Induction Walk is so we can get to know you and determine if you are suited to the squad, and for you to determine whether the squad is for you. During this walk we will discuss how the squad operates and a little of the Squad’s history in order to give you some background on how the squad works.
Prospective members should already have sound off-track map and compass bush navigation skills.
General training includes:
- search techniques
- navigation and GPS
- radio communication
- bush fitness
- bushcraft (such as tracking and route finding)
- how BSAR NSW works with other emergency services
The general training is overseen by BSAR NSW instructors. Some of the specialised elective training such as vertical rescue and helicopter operations are done by external trainers, such as other VRA squads and rescue helicopter operators.
As you progress with the Squad, you are encouraged to build your skills through additional training opportunities including:
- protection & preservation of an incident scene
- stretcher hauling techniques
- remote area first aid
- vertical qualifications: VM, V1, V3
- river crossing & swift water techniques
- remote canyon access
We can also recognise your existing experience through a process of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). This is discussed further during Induction Bushwalks.
To ensure access to training for Members, training dates are set well in advance and are held on several weekends throughout the year. Venues are spread around the State, in locations such as the Barrington Tops, Kanangra Walls and the Budawangs, amongst others.
Our aim is to make training enjoyable, challenging and professional. It should not only make you a skillful remote area search and rescue operator, but also build knowledge and experience useful in all walks of life. Also note that our training is nationally accredited through our partnered Registered Training Organisation. Most of all, we hope you enjoy yourself and make some new friends!
The training in navigation and bushcraft provided by BSAR NSW is at an advanced level. New members are required to already be familiar with bushwalking specifically in areas such as lightweight bush camping and be able to navigate cross country using a topographic map and a compass. If you do not have these skills we suggest you join a bushwalking club to learn the basics before joining BSAR NSW. A link to NSW Confederation of Bushwalking clubs can be found here.