Officer given Queen’s Service Medal pays tribute to volunteers

Sergeant Andrew Brooke from Palmerston North.

2021-06-07 04:06:52

Sergeant Andrew Brooke from Palmerston North has been awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for providers to look and rescue.

Sergeant Andrew Brooke from Palmerston North.

Photograph: Provided / NZ Police

Brooke has been a police officer for 40 years and has been concerned with Search and Rescue since 2004.

He’s chairman of the Palmerston North Search and Rescue Group and been the officer accountable for the Manawatū Police Search and Rescue Squad since 2008.

He was a founding member of Outside Coaching New Zealand, which co-ordinates groups of volunteer instructors to ship coaching to the final inhabitants, and particularly younger folks making ready for his or her Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award expeditions.

Brooke informed Karyn Hay his household had been glad with the honour. One among his most memorable rescues was from his earlier years.

“There’s been some good ones [rescues] and a few dangerous ones, and one of many early ones I did was up within the Mangaweka within the Ruahine Ranges, a few younger adults bought themselves misplaced within the snow.

“We despatched some groups up from Palmy, Taihape, and Martin late within the night time, they usually spent the night time within the huts, in Purity Hut, earlier than they went up and did the search the following morning.

“And it is a six [person] hut up there in Purity and we had 17 folks sleeping in there, so I am unsure how a lot sleeping was occurring, however they discovered a few the following morning, considerably hyperthermic, however they managed to get them out okay.”

His squad typically did between 50 to 60 searches a yr, which final a number of hours, and that concerned each land searches and marine searches.

Lots of these searches had been resolved pretty rapidly, he mentioned, with about 20 or so involving volunteers, and about 5 or 6 of these lasting a few days.

Wilderness searches had been troublesome in a way as a result of there was much less folks to speak to, however that meant the clues had been prone to be tied to the search, he mentioned. The place as city searches meant there have been extra folks to speak to and heaps of potential clues that wanted to be filtered.

In Palmerston North, there was greater than 100 volunteers with about 40-50 being lively, he mentioned.

“There’s hundreds of volunteers throughout the nation, I feel there’s 3500 folks volunteering in inland New Zealand that is simply search and rescue, there’s hundreds of individuals volunteering throughout the group doing all kinds of issues.”

Volunteers had been inspiring and didn’t do the work for recognition however for the sake of the serving to the group, he mentioned.

“They’re some actually expert and actually devoted folks, we could not do it with out them.”

“There was a beacon search that went off within the northern Ruahine [ranges] and it was a gaggle of trekking membership members from New Plymouth. The climate was horrible, we could not fly in so I managed to place a staff on the bottom, and once more the climate was horrendous, however they nonetheless went up the hills and used a hand-held path machine to find the place the beacon had gone off and the following day the helicopter flew all of them out.”

Usually folks had been reported as lacking resulting from communication failures to their household or friends, he mentioned, or misjudgment of the time it could take to journey throughout their vacation spot resulting from climate troubles.

If didn’t have the abilities to seek out their means again to their supposed or unique vacation spot, then they need to keep put and attempt to name for assist, he mentioned.

“If you do not have these abilities … then the most effective factor to do is keep put, and hug a tree, and we’ll come discover you.

“Do not transfer, the tree provides you with safety from the climate, simply keep the place you’re, and we’ll come discover you.”

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