Supporting staff to support LandSAR

by Lucy Carver

LandSAR is a national volunteer organisation which provides land search and rescue assistance to the lost, missing and injured across New Zealand. With its natural philosophical and skills-based alignment to our outdoor activities, Whenua Iti Outdoors supports staff who volunteer for LandSAR. We interview instructor Rosey Joyce about why she volunteers for LandSAR. 

Instructor Rosey volunteers for LandSAR

Instructor Rosey volunteers for LandSAR

Rosey, how long have you been a LandSAR volunteer?  Roughly two years. 

What drove you to volunteer for LandSAR?  Living in the Blue Mountains in Australia I saw SAR teams heading out quite regularly. I thought it looked like fun honestly and seemed like a great way to upskill and stay current as well as give back to the community.  

What have you learned by being a LandSAR volunteer?  My SAR training and experience in the field has made me more conscious about how not to get lost in the first place. I actually shared some of what I learned with my parents who are experienced trampers. We talked about the value of taking the PLB/EPIRB into front country not just into remote backcountry areas. I now carry a PLB even on local mountain biking trips because you never know when you’ll need it.   

What’s the most rewarding thing about being in a LandSAR team?  I’ve gained a huge range of skills which I get to apply in real life situations. It’s super rewarding to use these skills to help save people’s lives. It’s also very rewarding working with a dedicated local team who are ready to respond if required.  

How does your LandSAR volunteering commitment fit around your operational role at Whenua Iti?  If I’m not on a programme as a tutor and I’m just in the office, we have an understanding that I’m good to respond to call outs. Operationally, another staff member will step into my responsibilities at Whenua Iti while I’m away. In this way Whenua Iti also gives back to the community by supporting my volunteering commitments with LandSAR. 

Whenua Iti Outdoors is proud to support staff who volunteer for LandSAR. Many of us spend significant time in the outdoors and may one day find ourselves in need of assistance! It’s a great opportunity for our staff to gain more experience and skills, and a good example of community organisations working together and supporting one another. Learn more about Land Search & Rescue via their website.

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