What we do

The Wellington Emergency Response Team are dedicated, trained volunteers who help our communities prepare for, and get through emergencies. We meet weekly for training sessions and are ready for deployment in the event of a disaster. We primarily look after the Wellington region but can be deployed to other regions. With severe weather events becoming more frequent, we are being called to respond to events throughout the country.

Exercise Whakarauora Tangata at Paraparaumu

Saturday June 8th – NZ Police, Wellington Free Ambulance, FENZ, Coast Guard NZ, Surf Life Saving, Land SAR and NZRT8 came together for Exercise Whakarauora Tangata.

The scenario: – a cruise ship with 256 people on board, was on fire, just north of Kapiti Island. 30 live role players and 5 deceased (mannequins). 3 life rafts had been spotted, 2 nearing Paraparaumu Beach and one near Kapiti Island.

The aim of the exercise was to rehearse the real time skills, procedures and processes for the district level Incident Management Team (IMT) and test the efficacy of existing or new plans. To rehearse a coordinated command, control and communication structure across the teams to ensure the passengers and crew were safely evacuated and treated promptly.

We simulated passengers being evacuated by helicopter and life raft. Passengers already in the water were collected by the Coast Guard and Surf Life savers in IRBs.

Casualties were triaged at Kapiti Boat Club, treated and transported to Hospital as required.

The event concluded just before mid-day and the teams and casualties enjoyed a debrief over a BBQ lunch.

Photos coming soon.

Rescue Mission in a Nature Reserve

May 20th and the scenario for the evening was a magnitude 8.3 earthquake in Wellington. The task assigned to the team was to rescue casualties from a locked building in a remote bush setting.

Accessed was gained to the upper floor using the fire escape.

Casualties were located, first aid given, and then they were brought out to safety.

It was a good opportunity to use the skills we had practiced earlier this year.

Interested in joining the team? Click the button below.

Storm response training, Wellington

May 6th we met at the site of 2 neighbouring empty houses in Wilton. We practiced safely accessing a roof, which was made difficult by overhanging trees.

Using ropes and harnesses, team members ascended the ladders and climbed onto the roof.

Carefully moving around on the roof, keeping 3 points of contact at all times, we secured loose corrugated iron with ropes and placed a tarpaulin over the roof to keep the house watertight.

We used our mannequin “Manuel” as a patient and brought him safely down off the roof.

Ladders and Lowers in Wellington

April 29th we were back at the empty flats in Berhampore for some more hands-on training.

Tom and Phil instructed us on the safe use of ladders and techniques for lowering team members, stretchers and equipment.

The building is in a state or disrepair, so the scenario was fairly realistic.

To see more about our recent training exercises; follow us on Facebook.

Demolition training in Wellington

Monday April 15th, we met at a disused block of flats in Berhampore to learn the art of demolition (with the owner’s permission of course).

Demolition is a necessary skill we would need in the event of deployment to a building that we need to enter but the usual entry points are blocked.

We learnt how to safely assess the situation before cutting into walls to create an opening big enough to evacuate someone through.

We got to have a play with all our demolition equipment, and still left most of the building intact.

Joint training exercise with FENZ and NZRT7

Our team (NZRT8) met with NZRT7 from Victoria University and Wellington Operational Support at Kilbirnie fire station on Monday 8th April.

Mixed crews worked together across four areas set up on the night, in order to build awareness of each group’s capabilities. Three of the bases focused on technical skills: using ladders and cordons, setting up lighting and a casualty collection point.

The fourth base provided a place for crews to rest, socialise, and familiarise themselves with the vehicles.

We closed with a debriefing and an agreement to do another joint training exercise.

Flood management exercise in Tawa

We started the evening of 25th March 2024 at our Tawa depot, learning how to fill sandbags. We practised using both sandbags and tarpaulins for building a watertight wall. We then headed to Willow Park Reserve where we used the Porirua stream for our exercise.

Under the beam of floodlights and headlamps. We broke into 2 groups.

The first group set up a trash pump which quickly moves large volumes of water which may contain small bits of debris/trash. We also practised using a submersible pump and generator.

The 2nd group practiced safely crossing deep murky water using stakes to probe for hazards, walking in formation, arms linked for maximum safety.

To keep up to date with our latest training exercises and deployments; follow us on Facebook.

Practising patient hand-over exercise

March 4th, the team met to practice patient hand-over. Two of our team, who are Wellington Free Ambulance staff (in green and blue) were there with an ambulance to receive our ‘patients’.

Volunteers from our team were the patients for the evening.

The team practiced giving a verbal hand-over, which needs to be accurate, concise and up to date, including any treatment or medicine given. Changes in the patient’s condition observed since arrival on scene, were also given to the ambulance staff, plus a written note of vital signs (heart rate, respiration rate and pain level) which had been recorded periodically since first assessment.

We also practiced how to safely transfer the patient into the ambulance.

Life Flight open day March 2024

Sunday the 10th saw the team in Kilbirnie, Wellington, to participate in the Life Flight open day.

All the emergency services were represented. The youngsters enjoyed climbing the ladder. Safety first – Richard fastens the helmet on a keen participant.

Hauling the stretcher up on ropes was a popular activity too.

Open days like this are a great opportunity to meet the public and show them who we are and what we do. NZRT8 are being deployed more often now as global warming brings storms flooding and gale force winds more frequently.

Is this something you want to be a part of? Click the button below to apply.

‘Long Walk Home’ March 1st 2024

‘Long walk home’ is an event run by the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office. Our team participated, walking from Sky Stadium at the north end of Wellington to Porirua City (about 30km)

If a large earthquake struck during a weekday in Wellington the roads and rail may be out of use. Many people would need to do a long hike home.

What a fantastic way to build awareness and prepare for a real event and have fun along the way.

To keep up to date with our deployments, training and other activities, follow us on Facebook.

Patient evacuation Training Exercise

The team turned out at 7pm February 19th, for a training exercise at Wellington East Girls College.

The casualties (volunteers and fellow team members) were briefed and positioned strategically inside the building.

Once located, the casualties were assessed. First aid was then administered before removing them out of the building.

Using a ladder (instead of the stairs), the casualty, secured in the stretcher, was moved to another floor.

The new skid stretcher in use.

Emergency water supply training

February 12th 2024, 2 men from Wellington Water and WRC spent the evening training our team how to set up an emergency water distribution station at a Civil Defence hub or from a tank carried on a vehicle.

Outside, we accessed the fire hydrant in Davies Street, Tawa, attached the appropriate fitting and opened the valve.

We rigged up a community water station which, in the event of an emergency, would provide clean water for the public to fill their containers.

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