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What is YSAR?

Youth Search and Rescue (YSAR) was set up to help 14 to 18-year-olds develop personal, life and leadership skills by contributing to the community through search and rescue and emergency response. Students gain recognised qualifications to enable them to set up their own search and rescue effort and support national search and rescue and emergency response organisations. These include Land Search and Rescue (LandSAR), Coastguard, Civil Defence, Fire Emergency, Rescue Helicopter and Police.   

It’s also fun, you make life-long friends, get to use world-leading technology and learn how to survive and save lives!

What’s involved?

Students will need to commit to a three-year course, meeting once a week at Unitec Institute of Technology, and attending seven weekend exercises during the year (avoiding school holidays) and a five-day exercise at the end of the year. The 2019 exercise is in the Tongariro National Park. At the same time, students will be able to qualify for the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards as all of the activities required are covered by the YSAR programme.

What do you learn?

Students will build the skills they need to survive in the outdoors, and find people lost or in danger faster, increasing the chances of saving their lives. There is a heavy emphasis on safety and technology, including trialling new equipment for the national search and rescue and emergency response organisations. This enables students to develop and apply in-depth STEM skills in realistic scenarios.   

LEVEL 1 Introduction to search and rescue and emergency response, adapting to the environment, survival skills, navigation, radio communications

Level 2 Search methodologies, tracking, drones, ICT, field intelligence, geospatial mapping, aerial and thermal imagery

Level 3 Leadership and management, coordinated incident management systems, tasking and coordination, command and control, mentoring

Field experience is complemented by online learning modules and assessments on the Canvas platform. These courses are full compliant with national search and rescue and emergency responder requirements enabling students to move on as an experienced volunteer or as a career. 

Why join?

  • Master survival skills, land and sea
  • Trial new search, rescue and world-leading emergency technology
  • Help to find people faster to save lives
  • Gain confidence and leadership skills 
  • Earn Duke of Edinburgh Bronze, Silver and Gold along the way
  • Make great friends, face and conquer new challenges
  • Evolve a whole new appreciation for New Zealand’s rugged beauty but also the dangers of our environment.

Who is YSAR as an organisation?

YSAR is an internationally recognised search and rescue education provider with a focus on innovation and technology. We are affiliated to Land Search and Rescue New Zealand and work closely with all national search and rescue and emergency response organisations including Civil Defence. Our role is to provide a pool of qualified and capable volunteers, or candidates who may want to join these organisations as a career. 

Who can apply? 

We are looking for students who will be between 14 and 16 on 1 January 2020. 

The application forms are on our website with applications closing on 25 October 2019. 

Interviews will then be held during November for course commencement in February 2020.

Please spread the word, places are limited!

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