USAR - General Rescue
General Rescue involves skills and techniques to assist people in the event of a Civil Defence emergency when the emergency services are unable to assist and the likelihood and risk of death to people and damage to property on a large scale is high. These techniques as well as disaster medicine, triage and incident management form the basis of all RATS training.
General Rescue now ties in with the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) structure to ensure that all rescue teams in New Zealand operate in the same way and have similar resources.
In May 2003 RATS became the first Registered Response Team (NZRT1) and this requires teams to follow certain Standard Operating Procedures, training foundation and base equipment. This development is a significant step forward in New Zealand Civil Defence Rescue as it ensures a base level of quality in performance and if we do all work together it ensures we all do it the same way.
Common sense, one would think, but it hasn't always been that way.
The RATS have high expectations with regard to their performance in general rescue. This is the foundation of all our work and we pride ourselves on being the expert at this. Key to our success in this area is a team of well trained people who know exactly what their roles are supported by strong leadership capable of making decisions quickly and a team disciplined that ensures focus on the task in hand.
All our team members are expected to have leadership qualities to enable them to take untrained volunteers with them to help with general rescue efforts in mass casualty events.