Mini SAREX 1

We hope you are successful in qualifying for membership of the Hamilton Search and Rescue Group.

The objective of the weekend is to select suitable members for the First Response Group. The following details will help you to prepare.

Pre assessment

An information evening prior to commencing Stage 1 will outline the group's expectations and experience required.

The Assessment
  • Navigation
    • Ability to relate a topo map to the terrain
    • Ability to set and follow a compass course at night and during the day
  • Camping skills and equipment
    • Preparation and choice of food
    • Equipment – especially tent, sleeping bag, pack and clothing
  • Bush Experience
  • Teamwork
  • Fitness
The Method
First exercise
Navigation across open farmland using map and compass. You must carry all of your gear on this section of the exercise
Second exercise
Night navigation through the bush using a compass bearing calculated from a map
Third exercise
Daytime navigation on multiple bearings calculated from a map
Camping skills and equipment
Assessed at the time of the evening meal

You must bring all the camping/tramping equipment and clothing you would expect to take if you were to go out overnight on a search. This includes food for 24 hours. An effective torch and a compass are essential.

Meeting Place/Time

The workshop participants usually gather in Hamilton and car pool from there, you will be advised of the meeting place. Expect to be back between midday and 4.00pm the next day. It is important to confirm the times with Matt Hassard and check that your name is on the list. Email contact is preferred –

After the Mini SAREX

The committee will meet usually within 2-4 weeks to consider the results. Participants are usually informed of the outcome at the next monthly meeting.

Possible outcomes
  • Skills and equipment are fine – probationary period for First Response Group has commenced
  • Skills and/or equipment are below standard – one option to gain the skills is through Mountain Safety Council courses. Try again in the future.
  • Bush Experience is lacking – this can take several years to develop through regular trips. Experience gained through leading parties into the bush and solo trips are recommended.

For those who do not make the First Response Group there is always the option of joining the Group in a Base Support role in the meantime. Unsuccessful participants may request a reassessment when they feel they are ready.

Our Standards

Our Group is aiming to set a high standard in the selection of members. We expect all our First Response Group members to be able to act as Team Leaders especially if we are supporting other Groups in their area.


Waveney Parker
Matt Hassard
Training Coordinator
Gin Peck
New Member Coordinator
Vince Ranger
Police Rep
Russell Lamb
Scott Alchin
Waveney Parker
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