Response team call for sponsors, help

02:15, Jul 26 2012
Emergency response
Helping hand: Wellington Emergency Response team members travelled to Christchurch to the February 2011 earthquake to help.

A group of Wellington volunteers who assist emergency services need help themselves.

The Wellington Emergency Response Team, which helps during earthquakes, floods and storms, needs more volunteers and sponsorship.

Squadron leader Peter Dear said the team was an asset to Wellington but needed help to fund a new vehicle.

"We have about 30 volunteers. In the past two years we have deployed teams to Christchurch three times, sent two people to Queensland to help after the floods and been deployed by the police to help find a missing lady," he said.

"Right now, we need a car. A 4x4 ute would be good. One of the main things we learned from Christchurch is that if there is a big quake, the roads are going to be shocking. A small car is not the best for that but, having said that, we wouldn't turn that sort of offer away if we got it."

The team was governed by the Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office but had to source its own equipment.

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Mr Dear said the group also wanted to encourage more people to volunteer. Volunteers take part in weekly training sessions and in at least one major scenario-based exercise a year.

"We've been in the tunnels under Victoria University and if there's a building that's going to be demolished, we try to get inside that to practise working in rubble," said Mr Dear.

The team was currently expanding its ability in the areas of storm and flood response, he said.

For more information, email committee@rescue.wellington.net.nz.

The Wellingtonian