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Amateur Radio Emergency Communications

National AREC Meeting Masterton

The AREC Management Team arrived on site at the Branch 46 Clubrooms shared with SAR in sunny Masterton this morning to find a real SAR operation underway! National Director Jeff Sayer ZL4JS welcomed visitors while managing search comms on a VHF handheld.

John ZL4JY Area Manager Central was on hand to represent our interests with area managers from Northern, Southern, and Midlands (ZK1, ZK8, ZK9, and ZK4 call areas).

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Wellington VHF Group involved in major SAR Exercise

Members of Wellington VHF Group participated in a major Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX), 21-22 April 2012, held at Belmont Regional Park.
Members of our AREC section are actively involved in the Wellington Land Search and Rescue organisation - the first call group of volunteers who assist Police with SAR duties in the greater Wellington area.

Below are some photos, courtesy of Brian M Harmer of Wellington Land SAR, used with permission.

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Amateur Radio in the News - Otago Daily Times

Great to see our southern brethren in the press - an excellent example of how Amateur Radio can contribute in a useful way, and be fun too.

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Australian Senate calls for Dedicated Emergency Services Spectrum

The mobile telephony industry has failed to convince a parliamentary enquiry into the communications needs of emergency service organisations that these needs are best met through services provided by the mobile communications industry rather than by dedicating spectrum for emergency communications services.

AREC LAnd SAR OPeration Roberts 17 April 2011

A Land SAR operation was successful on Sunday 17th April, with a search of the Wainuiomata Water Treatment Plant area finding the missing person within minutes of departure from the base.

LandSAR was called out to meet at the treatment plant at 11am. AREC responded with a preliminary communications plan based on portable SAR repeaters, HF and backup from DoC repeaters and AREC/LandSAR Incident Management Team (IMT) team members.

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AREC: SAR-OP Mann Search in Waikanae Area

A SAROP for a missing gentleman is happening in the Waikanae area, manned by volunteers from Wellington Land SAR and assisted by Levin teams.

The operation is being run from Wellington and using the DoC and CD repeaters in the Kapiti area, as well as HF.

Involved are John ZL2HD Andrew ZL2ADR Rick ZL2TVY with remote assistance from John ZL4JY.

The search has been a mix of tracks, bush and urban searching. The Police are leading the search although many Police are going south to the emergency there.

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AREC SAROP Operation Coffey

Wellington VHF Group AREC was called in for Land SAR Operation Coffey in the Akatarawa Forest Park on Monday.

A number of AREC members from the region assisted and the search had a successful outcome at 5:30 pm on Monday evening, with the missing party being found found by a SAR team on foot.

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Spotted in the News: AREC in Action

An article about a Search and Rescue caught my eye in todays Dominion Post. Of note the direct mention of 'Amateur Radio Emergency Corps' - the former name of the Amateur Radio Emergency Communications organisation, better known as AREC.

Looks like our compatriots in the Central North Island have been busy assisting Police and Land Search and Rescue folks achieve another successful result.

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Search and Rescue Exercise in the Tararuas

As previously noted a major Police Search and Rescue Exercise was held on the Weekend 16-18 April in the Tararuas. Wellington VHF Group AREC provided communications for this event - a major in the LandSAR training programme - with the SAREX Base located in Kaitoke, Upper Hutt.

View in a larger map. SAREX Base location at Flag (approx). SAREX Area (also approx) shown in green.

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AREC Activity

A bit of recent AREC/SAR activity:

1921hrs 28/3/2010
Standby - possible Karori urban area search for missing elderly person.
2014hrs Stand down - person found

1506hrs 3/4/2010
SAROP in Wainui waterworks starting 1730hrs for two hunters missing in Wainuiomata Water Catchment area.

Base was at the GWRC Ranger house in Reserviour Road. IMT setup, helicopter on site and teams ready to deploy when hunters got
phone coverage and phoned home. The hunters exited and visited IMT on their way out so we were all stood down at 1755hrs.

Most of these events get no further that those involved being put on standby, others progress to the next stage like the events of 3 April with very few becoming full blown searches as this one had the potential to.

They are all a good test of our systems, ready kit and ability to respond.

Deputy Section Leader

[Editor Note: There's a Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX) occuring 16-18 April. WVHFG Members should contact ZL4JY if they're interested in being involved and learning how AREC helps during a Search and Rescue event.]

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