Surf Life Saving Tasmania recently completed a six day intensive Flood Swift Water Rescue Technician and Flood Swift Water Rescue Boat Operator/Crew course for the Tasmanian Police Service.
Ten officers from North, North Western and Southern Search and Rescue teams attended the course conducted by trainers from SLST, Adrian Petrie and Andrew Fogarty, Nate Welch from Wild Education and Adrian Mayhew from SLS Great Britain.
The FSWRT component was undertaken at the Arm River Camp near Mole Creek with the course covering theory and practical training. A mini night exercise was conducted and the police displayed a high level of skill in command and control, risk assessment and technical skills in patient extraction as expected from professionals in this area.
The final three days were completed on the Derwent River in the area of Broken Bridge. Police were introduced to SLST flood boats and surf IRB operating in a dynamic water environment. The participants quickly recognised the complexities in operating vessels in this environment and acknowledged the skills required to operate craft and rescue swimming.
The attending police left with a greater understanding of the swimming, first aid and vessel operations skill sets that Surf members hold and appreciated the ability of our members to adapt to flood/swift water operations with additional training.
The training course allowed good discussion to take place between the two organisations to develop a more joint approach to this facet of operations and it is anticipated further training and exercise will continue into the future.