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The Off-Road Rescue Unit

>> Get a full description here of the emergency call-outs to which the Rescue Unit has responded

More about the Off-Road Rescue Unit

The Off-Road Rescue Unit is a highly-trained crew of unpaid volunteer 4x4 owners who are members of the Four Wheel Drive Club of Southern Africa and other clubs belonging to the Association of All-Wheel Drive Clubs of South Africa. Members work closely with local, regional and national emergency services, Disaster Management, the South African Air Force, Civil Aviation, the South African Police Services, K9 Search and Rescue, the Mountain Club of South Africa, and other official and civilian volunteer organisations.

The unit provides the public with wilderness and urban search and rescue services, transport, logistical support, and radio communications, in rough terrain areas, in times of need including civil or national emergency.

Members of the Unit take part in regular theoretical and practical training exercises at least twice monthly. Training is often held in conjunction with official emergency services divisions and other volunteer organisations and includes such activities as radio communications, search and rescue procedure, helicopter-borne insertion and extraction, map reading, GPS and navigation, rope rescue techniques, mountain rescue training, off-road driving, vehicle recovery, vehicle maintenance, fire fighting, first-aid/medical training and patient extrication.

Great satisfaction is derived by members of the Unit from serving their fellow man, but this comes at a high cost in terms of intrusion into family, social and business time, and also the cost of financing equipment. Each member's 4x4 vehicle and the extensive range of equipment it contains, is funded by the member himself.

An annual training camp, held over a few days towards the end of each year, is where the theory and practice is put to the test with a mock call-out and rescue exercise that can proceed non-stop through the night no matter what the weather, over hundreds of kilometres. During this training camp the members' equipment and preparedness is put to the test to ensure that we are capable of delivering the level of professionalism required.

The Unit's administrative structure is such that one telephone call is all that is required to put the whole call-out system into action, resulting in trained volunteer members in fully-equipped 4x4s being ready to leave for anywhere in the country within the hour.

In addition, the unit makes a further contribution to the community at large by offering a communications and medical infrastructure to organisers of outdoor sporting events such as road-running marathons, cycle races, mountain bike challenges and off-road motor racing events. These events generate income for the unit which is used to maintain our Mobile Command Post trailer and the wide range of expensive communications and medical equipment it contains.  

For further information please feel free to contact the following:

Ivor 083-326-3020


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