Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

The state’s leading volunteer-based rescue organisation, VRA Rescue NSW, is ready to boost ranks in Manilla.

This Saturday, 10th February, they’re calling on all Manilla residents to come and learn about the new VRA Rescue NSW – Manilla Squad including capabilities, fleet, and rescue equipment, at the community Town Hall event from 11am.

“Manilla was the clear choice for the new VRA squad because of its existing presence with VRA Rescue NSW providing General Land Rescue services,” said VRA Rescue NSW Commissioner, Brenton Charlton.

“We’re confident and thrilled to announce our plans to revitalize and uplift rescue capabilities in this fantastic town.”

The community can learn about VRA Rescue NSW capabilities, fleet, and rescue equipment including:

· General Land Rescue

· Road Crash Rescue

· Search and Rescue (including land search)

· Vertical Rescue and Cave Rescue

· Breathing Apparatus and Confined Space Rescue

· Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS)

· VRA Rescue NSW Search Dog Squad, and

· Non-field and administrative roles

“Our goal is to ensure that the people of Manilla and its surrounding areas have access to top-notch emergency rescue services whenever they need them, and the best part is we’re all set with a building ready to roll.”

So, what are they looking for in new recruits? Anyone willing to have a go, and they love multi-agency composite team.

“If you’re new to being a volunteer rescue operator or already belong to another agency, we don’t care what the colour of your uniform is—come on down.” said Mr Charlton.

“Everyone is welcome, and this is about providing a world-class volunteer rescue service 24/7/365.”

“So, if you’re passionate about lending a helping hand and making a real difference in people’s lives, join us on this exciting journey.”

“Together, we’ll ensure safety and support for our community like never before.”

Once the new recruits are on-boarded and qualified, they can provide General Land Rescue, Road Crash Rescue, Search and Rescue, Vertical Rescue and Cave Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS or drone searches) or provide non-field and administrative roles.

And volunteering provides so much more than just new skills.

“There’s a powerful sense of purpose and connection with community when people volunteer, not to mention the mental, physical, social and health benefits of learning new skills, getting fit and making new friends.” said Mr Charlton.

“Our ethos is to start small, care deeply, conquer boundlessly and we do that by elevating every individual to their fullest potential.”

However, the VRA Rescue Squad will need community support.

“We would love their support to get this squad up and running so that we can provide an essential emergency rescue response service.” said Mr Charlton.

“I urge anyone that is interested in giving back to their community, in any capacity and with whatever time they can offer, to come on down and find out more.”

“We provide all training, uniforms and PPE so if you have that positive can-do attitude then you’ll enjoy being a part of the green team.”

VRA Rescue across the New England

There are 5 squads in the New England region including: Inverell, Glen Innes, Guyra, Narrabri, Quirindi, and Burren Junction. These squads will also provide support to Manilla when required.

“The New England Region has recently undertaken a major search and rescue operation involving all Squads across the area, as well as resources from across the State.” said Mr Charlton.

These resources included our Land Search Specialists and our Search and Rescue Dogs and worked alongside other agencies under the Command of the NSW PF in search for a missing person in December and January.”

The VRA Resources also supported the NSW RFS during the recent Pilliga Bushfire Emergency and have been active in support of the RFS during other fires of significance earlier in the bushfire season.

“Our crews have been deployed across NSW in support of recent flood emergencies of the previous years and undertake hundreds of rescues annually.” said Mr Charlton.

Across the New England North West Region, VRA Personnel performed 150 rescues from January 2023 to January 2024, and invested over 5320 hours in training, fundraising, equipment maintenance and skills maintenance in local communities.

The highest occurrences of incident types attended by Squads in the region include Motor Vehicle Collisions, Ambulance Assists, Animal Rescues, Industrial and Domestic Rescues, Land Search, and assistance to NSW Police, and the Rural Fire Service.

Want to get involved?

Head to the Manilla town hall and see what it is all about and become a volunteer today.

“Last weekend VRA Rescue NSW announced the launch of the new State Rescue Group (SRG), which will provide Manilla Squad with the support needed to not only fast-track training but also provide backup support for when the squad needs a break or has an increase in jobs.” said Mr Charlton.

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