Tait Gets Hands-On With Urban Search and Rescue

A group of Tait engineers had a chance to get hands-on with our equipment in real-life scenarios when one of their members who is a New Zealand Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) volunteer brought their equipment into the Christchurch headquarters. The emergency response specialist taught them skills such as knots, rope work and techniques for lashing rescued people into stretchers to safely evacuate them from dangerous situations.

With their new training in hand, the engineers then geared up for a practice “mission” in which they had to locate victims, diagnose and triage any injuries and work as a team to rescue and evacuate the patients, all in the middle of a simulated earthquake.

Tait’s own Jeff James, Lead Design Engineer and USAR volunteer, arranged the session for his Tait DMR Software Team as a way to help the engineers
better understand Tait customers and their needs. The hands-on experience showed them what it is actually like for these response crews when using mobile radio in the difficult situations they’re faced with.

“As well as thinking about the kinds of situations our customers face, it lets the team get a chance to use our radios in a reasonably realistic scenario, where it’s noisy and difficult to see and you have actual goals to achieve on top of just speaking on the radio or hearing someone else speak,” Jeff commented. “It’s also given us a chance to learn and review proper radio protocols and to understand why we follow them. It was a worthwhile session.”

New Zealand Urban Search and Rescue specializes in locating and rescuing people who become trapped when a structure collapses. USAR task forces include firefighters, search and rescue dog handlers, communications experts, engineers, doctors and paramedics, and various other technical experts. The task forces were crucial in providing emergency relief during the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake and the resilient Tait-based land mobile radio system covering Christchurch was crucial to the emergency response in the first weeks after the earthquakes.

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