Training

Bush Search and Rescue holds regular training events.  The usual formats are:

General search and rescue training – held each year over a weekend. The format rotates following a three year cycle: bush, snow, bush incorporating a Rogaine.  This is open to all members and Prospective Members.

Alpine search and rescue training – held each year, for members with alpine skills and experience.  This specialist training is not required for all BSAR members.

Steep snow and ice training

For dates and further details on specific training events see our Calendar.

Experienced-based Training

The primary (core) skills that all BSAR members bring to a search are the skills they have developed through their experience as recreational bushwalkers, cross country skiers, Rogainers, mountaineers and related outdoor activities.

It is through their continued participation in these activities that each member is expected to maintain their fitness level and equipment, and to continue to develop their essential skills for searching.

A peer appraisal system is used: club committees and BSAR delegates for club members, and referees for Bushwalking Victoria members, are used to ensure that members meet the skill, fitness and equipment level required for BSAR membership.   Prerequisites for joining Bush Search and Rescue are listed here.

BSAR provides specific training in search and rescue related skills and techniques.  Training events also provide opportunities for members to get to know each other and work together in teams.

Training events are run in collaboration with Police Search and Rescue and are developed and delivered by working groups. 

Members are encouraged to attend at least one training event every two to three years and to assist with organising and running training.

General Training

General training events alternate between bush, bush with participation in a Rogaine and on snow.  Skills and topics covered include:

  • Search and group leadership
  • Feature and line search techniques
  • Stretcher portage
  • Rescue techniques
  • Radio communications
  • GPS and map and compass navigation
  • First aid and patient management
  • Bush search scenarios
  • Snow camping and searching on snow shoes.

Alpine Search and Rescue Training

Alpine search and rescue training is conducted yearly at an alpine location, sometimes with participation from local Ski Patrols.  Skills and topics covered include:

  • Safe snow travel and assessing avalanche hazard
  • Self arrest
  • Avalanche rescue  – transceiver search, probing, shoveling, group management
  • Roping up and holding a fall while roped
  • Using crampons and ice axes
  • Setting up and operating stretcher haulage systems
  • Alpine search scenarios
  • Searching on skis.

Specialist Role Training

Induction and specific training for is provided for specialist roles as required including:

  • BSAR Police Liaison Officers
  • Field Organisers
  • Peer support

Past Training Events