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Foundation Rope Course – What was it like ? – by Aaron C

The day dawned crisp and clear, no wait it was drizzly and overcast.

Thank you for the real life training conditions!

The foundation Rope course held by SARINZ on the 30 & 31 August 2008 was the largest gathering of NSAR personnel for training purposes since the SAREX at Bland Bay, with a good mix of civilian and police members and with a splattering of FNSAR members thrown in for cultural diversity.

Kip and Dean, the instructors, were on hand early to lighten the mood, and managed to keep the entire course light throughout the weekend, which was no mean feat considering the amount of information being absorbed by the experienced and inexperienced alike.

I personally was hugely impressed with the knowledge base brought to the course by not only Kip and Dean but by our own personnel.

It was an eye opening experience to learn how safe and easy the likes of stretcher carries over questionable terrain can be.

We began with a short classroom lesson on the fundamentals of handling rescue equipment and different uses etc and were quickly onto the hands on aspect of knot tying (and bends and hitches!).

Who knew that an overhand knot turned into a bowline so easily or that a wheelie bin could be so useful?

The weekend progressed with small classroom sessions followed by outdoor based components of the course as the weather allowed, including the man vs. tree vs. Kevin’s van competition.

I’m still not sure who came out on top?

The culmination of the weekend was the group being split into two teams and escorted down into the bush below the house, over the fence, down the hill, through the mud, past the phallus in stone that made Kips eyes light up and then water and onto some rather steep and slippery banks above a creek.

It was here that we learnt to put to use all of the techniques learnt over the weekend thus far.

I don’t think you will find a single person on the course that didn’t get a whole lot out of it and hasn’t come away extremely excited about being involved in Search and Rescue!

I would also like to put in a public thank you to the olds (Carol and Grant) for hosting the course.

I haven’t eaten that well since I moved out and am now seriously questioning why I did !

I had taken for granted what a brilliant piece of training ground I have had under my feet for a number of years without even realizing it.

So thank you once again to all of those involved in getting our training events off of the ground and making Northland Search and Rescue such a brilliant organization to be involved in.