Our active members, both male and female, come from a range of backgrounds and occupations which makes each one a valuable member of the team. All new members initially serve a minimum three month probation period, were they are assessed as to their ability to carryout basic rescue functions. During this time new members are taught various basic skills that they will use through out their period of service. All members are volunteers, giving up valuable time to train and prepare for all types of disasters. Not only does the unit respond to emergencies in the local area, but they may be called to other parts of the state that are in need. Some of the many emergencies that our members have responded to include tropical cyclones in Broome and Exmouth, floods in Moora, car bombing in Lathlain, as well as numerous severe storms in the Perth metropolitan area.
The majority of our members are in rescue. Rescue consists of the teams that respond to call outs using the trucks and other equipment that we carry to conduct rescues, searches, temporary building repair and storm damage repairs, among other things.
Rescue members are trained in many skills during the Monday night training, during call outs and at courses run mainly on weekends. Some of the skills learnt on Monday night training are:
- placing tarps on roofs
- rescue procedures
- use of the units equipment
- tying of rescue knots
- casualty handling and packaging
- creating and using anchor systems
- small motors
- lifting systems
- mechanical advantage (MA) rigs
- pumping and sandbagging
- traffic control
- The following courses are offered by regional headquarters:
- Basic Voice Procedures
- Single Rope Techniques (abseiling)
- Training Small Groups
- Navigating in Rural and Urban Environments
- The following courses are offered ‘in house’:
- Storm Damage
- Chainsaw Operator
- Roof Safety System
- Flood Rescue
- General Rescue
Operations consist of the members who control the general operation of the unit during call outs. Operations staff duties include:
- answering telephones
- prioritizing call out jobs
- organizing the rescue members for call-outs
Operations staff also require training. Some of the courses that are run by region are as follows:
- Ops room staff
Communications is run by Operations and their tasks include:
- making sure that the radios (UHF) are in good working condition
- all batteries are charged
- maintaining operational mobile phones
Communications is a vital part (as is all sections) allowing communication between operations and the rescue members and teams.
Welfare is provided to the members during call-outs. This may consist of breakfast, lunch or dinner. They also provide tea, coffee, milo, biscuits, cordial and other supplies for members when training.
Stores and logistics maintain and keep track of equipment required by the unit. They organize personal protective equipment for the member, make sure that the vehicles are in good working condition, as well as keeping the equipment in good working condition.